Charlie Rangel Would Really Like to Avoid an Oral Rebuke

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The ethics committee recently recommended that the House censure twenty-term New York representative Charlie Rangel and force him to pay any unpaid taxes for financial misconduct. But before the House votes on it, Rangel plans to ask the committee chairman for time to plead his case on the floor and ask that his punishment be downgraded to a reprimand — a vote of disapproval rather than an oral rebuke by Nancy Pelosi. Rangel plans to argue that censure has traditionally been imposed for violations like bribery and personal use of campaign funds, and the ethics committee, in explaining its recommendation for Rangel's censure, said the decision was based on "the cumulative nature of the violations and not any direct personal financial gain." [NYP]