Playing the World’s Smallest Violin for Rep. Charlie Rangel


A House ethics committee subpanel today found Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel guilty of 11 of the 13 charges of ethics violations against him.

The panel, composed of four Democrats and four Republicans, emerged after private deliberation to announce their findings.


The subpanel will now submit its findings to the full ethics committee, which will schedule a public hearing to determine the appropriate sanctions to take against the longtime New York representative. Whatever action they decide on during the sanctions hearing will then go to the full House of Representatives. The committee could go so far as to recommend expelling Rangel, but that would be unlikely. Other possible sanctions include a House vote deploring Rangel’s conduct, a fine or a denial of privileges.


The hearing to consider the charges against Rangel began yesterday, but Rangel walked out of the proceedings in protest because he has been unable to acquire legal representation. Rangel’s legal team dropped the case this fall, reportedly after disagreements with Rangel over their defense strategy, and the lawmaker insists he neither has the money to find new counsel nor the time to set up a legal defense fund. By walking out of the hearing, Rangel chose to leave the evidence in the case against him unchallenged.

“I truly believe I am not being treated fairly,” Rangel said yesterday.

Poor Charlie. Here’s a tax and spend Leftist who lectures “the rich” to pay “their fair share” but when he gets busted for failing to properly file – well, he was just being “sloppy.”

I’m sure there’s a good number of people who were “sloppy” with their tax returns who couldn’t afford to pay for a good lawyer either. I’m also quite certain that most of these people have to worry about much worse consequences than to be censured by their colleagues (censure = “Shame on you, you’ve been a very naughty boy!”).

But as we all know, the rules are just different for the Washington elite because some people are more equal than others.

  • Linda

    I thought Rangel took money from his PAC to pay legal fees (which is illegal, as well)? And Rangel has had one month since he and his legal team parted ways, to secure new legal assistance. Rangel is rich enough to have multiple apartments in New York, but he’s crying poverty? He wears expensive suits, so I’m not buying his poverty claim. And doesn’t he have a law background? Couldn’t he have defended himself?

    If we, the great unwashed peons, walk out of court when we are defendants, can we not be tried in absentia? Why should the high muckety-muck elitist Congressman be any different?

  • Stephen Littau


    See charge 11.

  • Glenn Goodman

    5 of each party in this “committee” 7 of whom are from the south, routinely catch Black Congress members drinking from the “Whites only” drinking fountain.

    We should have let the South secede!

  • Stephen Littau

    @ Glenn

    So these charges against Rangel are all trumped up by a bunch of racist Southerners (Democrat and Republican) who wouldn’t otherwise bring these charges if he were white? It couldn’t be that there might be something to these charges. It couldn’t be that they actually expect their own members to follow their own rules.

    Seems to me that you have an anti-South bias (which is apparently OK and perfectly PC). You might be interested in learning though, there were more “sun down towns” in the North than the South. People in the North are just a racist (if not more so) than people in the South (for what it’s worth).

    Having said that, people are more tolerant now than they ever have been.

  • Stephen Littau

    This post wasn’t intended to begin a discussion about race. This is about 1 man who has been found guilty of ethics violations. End of story.

  • Justin Bowen

    I can see the punishment now: a $5 fine and he can’t chair a committee for a month.

    It really is about time for legislators to stop policing themselves.

  • Justin Bowen


    While I won’t deny that “sun down towns” existed and probably still do exist, I have serious doubts about the intellectual integrity of the owner of that website (who is also the author of a book on the same subject). The few examples of his work that I’ve seen lead me to believe that he’s sacrificed accuracy and impartiality for the purposes of attracting attention or grinding some axe.

  • Stephen Littau


    I’ve looked around the website as well. From what I can tell, his sun down town research is still ongoing.

    I don’t mind if he has an axe to grind provided he can back his claims up with evidence (I have several axes to grind myself).

    I have also read another book by the same author entitled “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.” so I am familiar with his work (a very though provoking book to be sure).

  • Justin Bowen

    Well, it seems as though I was pretty close on what the punishment would be. The ethics committee is basically recommending that he get yelled at by a colleague.

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