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Deal or no deal with Rep. Charlie Rangel

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is caught between a rock and a hard place. He’s scrambling to strike a deal with the House Ethics Committee over allegations that he violated some pretty basic rules. Meanwhile, whether he settles or not, the case against him will be made public tomorrow at a 1:00 p.m. hearing that will be the precursor to a September trial. Sure, Rangel would get to defend his tattered honor. But that could come at a higher price. The faint calls for him to resign his seat altogether, which haven’t gained any traction, would almost assuredly take off once a trial began.

Rangel’s fellow Democrats are already returning campaign cash he’s given them. And with the clock ticking to disclosure, some are being more blunt about what he should do. Laurie Kellman of the Associated Press does a great job deciphering House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) comments on the Rangel matter. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), told the New York Post, "I think it's best that he settle." With a trial set to run concurrently with the fall campaign and the Democrats poised to lose a ton of seats (and perhaps control of the House), I bet he does.

Like I’ve said before, Rangel has the uncanny ability to make a walk over hot coals seem like a stroll on the Mall. His bluster and defiance over the last week is a cover for the intense negotiations going on behind the scenes. Reports say Rangel is worried about his legacy. Well, it’s already tainted. Foregoing a deal the Democrats desperately want him to take runs the risk of a bad situation potentially getting worse for him.

By Jonathan Capehart  | July 28, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

No deal. As the Speaker has stated, we need to drain the swamp.
It's not the time to just take a shovel's worth of mud.
Working out a deal would be slimy and hypocritical. Be ethical, do what you said you would.

Posted by: slatt321 | July 28, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The real shame here, the shame that capehart won't touch with a long, long pole, is the fact that this district elected this crook repeatedly.

since the people of his district won't hold him accountable it is small wonder that he's become a entitled member of the new American nobility.

After all, some one has to carry on the legacy left by that other stalwart Democrat NY Pol, Adam Clayton Powell.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 28, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Once again blacks play the race card rather than focus on behavior. Kick the sleaze bag out because of his behavior; period. I don't care what color, nationality, religion, et.al., 1+1=2. He did the crime so its time he do the time.

Posted by: billbridgesmaccom | July 28, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Once again blacks play the race card rather than focus on behavior. Kick the sleaze bag out because of his behavior; period. I don't care what color, nationality, religion, et.al., 1+1=2. He did the crime so its time he do the time.

Posted by: billbridgesmaccom | July 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who profess to NOT care about race or color, religion, et al, are to put it mildly, are full of "ish"! NOT once do I ever remember hearing about, or reading some commentary about how Bensonhurst in Queens, New York would welcome John Gotti with open arms after every acquittal! I'm not saying that blacks should give elected
leaders a pass when they break the rules or the law...however, I find it comical when whites want to find religion when its NOT one of them! I don't hear whites complaining about the visceral hatred being
thrown about the the likes of the Tea Party
or other media darlings of the extreme right. Its like the Ku Klux Klan...whites allowed their existence and terrorism to exist because they were not the main target
of their despicable acts. Ask yourself how
long the Black Panther Party existed? And what a vast majority of you don't know is that the Black Panther Party started out as
a community based self help organization providing free meals and mentoring programs
and only became radicalized because of the brutality of the FBI. So lets drain the swamp...but lets drain it of ALL the sludge
and not just the sludge that doesn't flow down your pipes!

Posted by: NHITEVIZION | July 28, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart didn't bring race up in his comments. If no one knew Mr. Capehart's or Mr. Rangel's race, would it even be part of the discussion?

Not that Mr. Capehart needs my defense, but he has always been unbiased in his criticism of Mr. Rangel.

Posted by: zzishate@yahoo.com | July 28, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Government officials get away with crimes the average citizen could never walk away from. Our assets would have been seized long ago and we would either be in jail or required to post a steep bail while awaiting trial. These people, our so called leadership, are bums and cheats who live by different rules. We, average citizens, would never have the opportunity to negotiate with a committee of our co-workers to bargain a nice deal with no jail time. They are bums and scums and most them need to be voted out of office in November. It is about time we the people wake up and make these people accountable. Charley Rangel will never go to jail and sadly will probably be re-elected. Power corrupts.

Posted by: RicardoEspinoza | July 28, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This putrid Rangel should have resigned long ago but his arrogance didn't allow him to. I demand the same treatment--the Rangel Exemption --when I have to deal with the IRS. This man has gotten special treatment from all.

Posted by: mightyheidi | July 28, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, here is the "deal." If Charley wants to avoid a protracted investigation and trial, I suggest that he be allowed to resign forfeiting his pension, pay back NYC and the tax payers with interest and penalties, relinquish any property gained by fraud and spend the rest of his bigoted life behind bars. Otherwise, put the arrogant SOB on trial. The people of this country have had enough, especially from loud corrupt cardboard "leaders." The good people of Harlem and the House deserve better. When Charley is gone along with others of his ilk, we will all hope to get a fresh start.

Posted by: solutions2 | July 28, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Is NHITEVIZION suggesting Charlie Rangel should get a pass because of his race? Now there's a throwback to American justice. Was a time when a white man was generally innocent of any crime committed against a black person. Of course, in Rangel's case, his actions are aimed at all races, but mostly his own since he allegedly represents mostly African-Americans.

Posted by: sailhardy | July 29, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I've said this before. Years ago I appealed to Rangel to speak to the black caucus to try to get more support for a bill he was co-sponsoring since my group had black members and were facing double discrimination. He sent me back a long letter saying I was a racist for so doing.
If the democrats let him off for their own expediency, I, who have always voted democratic will not only not continue that but will stop voting since condoning such unethical behavior is a pox on all of them..........

Posted by: gany1 | July 29, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

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