Rangel Says He's Ready to Clear His Name
July 23, 2010 - 5:18 PMDemocratic Rep. Charles Rangel said Friday he looked forward to clearing his name next week at a meeting of the House ethics committee, which has indicated the 40-year congressional veteran will be charged with serious violations.
Speaking briefly at his Harlem office, Rangel, 80, called the two-year ethics investigation hurtful and harmful. But he said he was relieved that the matter was coming to a close and that the complaints against him would be aired publicly for the first time.
"I apologize for not being able to go further, but I hope you do get some sort of satisfaction that this thing is coming to a head," Rangel told reporters.
The secretive ethics panel did not disclose the specific violations Rangel may have committed.
But several persons with knowledge of the allegations, who are not authorized to discuss them publicly, say they are related to his use of congressional stationery to raise money for a university center bearing his name; his use of four rent-subsidized apartment units in violation of New York City law; and failure to report income as required on his annual financial disclosure forms.
Sanctions can range from a damaging committee report to censure or even expulsion by the House.
Rangel said he was pleased that the ethics panel would render a judgment before his primary election in September and before the November general election, where Democrats' control of the House may be at stake.
Asked how his ethics troubles could affect vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election, Rangel said, "Pain is pain."
He said voters in his district, whom he has served since Richard Nixon's presidency, deserve to know the truth about the allegations.
"I can say without any dispute that I won't let you down," Rangel said, addressing his constituents, and adding, "I'm in the kitchen and I'm not walking out."
Associated Press Writer Larry Margasak in Washington contributed to this report.
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