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.