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