crimes and misdemeanors

Will Charlie Rangel Make a Last-Minute Deal?

The deadline for embattled congressman Charlie Rangel to cut a deal with the House Ethics Committee is fast approaching, with charges against him set to be announced at 1 p.m. this afternoon. While negotiations are ongoing, the sticking point, according to the Post, is Rangel’s “refusal to admit wrongdoing in making improper solicitations for a center named after him at CCNY.” The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reports that a “central issue is the wording of the House ethics panel’s findings about Mr. Rangel’s alleged ethics violations.” Another major complication for Rangel is that admitting to certain ethical wrongdoings could open him up to criminal prosecution. But if he decides to roll the dice with a House trial, something that hasn’t occurred since 2002, he’s bound to hear calls for his resignation from fellow Democrats, according to Politico.

I think he’s going to have to go, maybe tomorrow,” said a member of the Congressional Black Caucus who asked not to be named.

Indeed, many colleagues said privately — and one has publicly — that he should resign from his seat in the House, a move that would put him outside the reach of the ethics committee. More important, it would save his Democratic counterparts the pain of a protracted political scandal brushing up against the midterm elections.

Rangel understands, though. “I know you love me,” Rangel reportedly said to a fellow Democratic congressman. “But love yourself more.” You got it, says everyone.

Charlie Rangel to Democrats: Drop me if you must [Politico]
Rangel’s deal-breaker [NYP]
Rangel Is in Talks to End Ethics Case [WSJ]

Will Charlie Rangel Make a Last-Minute Deal?