Well it didn’t take long for a House ethics panel to find New York Congressman Charles Rangel guilty on charges of that he violated House rules:
A House ethics panel found senior Democratic lawmaker Charles Rangel guilty of 11 of the 13 counts of House ethics violations lodged against him. The New York congressman wasn’t in the hearing room when the announcement was made.
“This has been a difficult assignment,” said the chairwoman of the panel, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.) as she announced the decision. “We have tried to act with fairness led only by the facts and the law, and I believe that we have accomplished that mission.”
The panel of eight lawmakers reached its decision midway through a second day of closed-door deliberations. As the long-anticipated disciplinary hearings began Monday, Mr. Rangel walked out in protest, saying he no longer had a lawyer, and shouldn’t be forced to proceed until he could raise money to hire one.
The panel deadlocked 4-4 on one charge: whether Mr. Rangel’s effort to raise money for a college center named after him constituted an attempt to get a personal benefit. Mr. Rangel had denied that he gained personally from having such a center named in his honor, and some Democrats on the panel had appeared sympathetic to that argument.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the panel’s chairman, said there was “clear and convincing evidence” against Congressman Rangel. The matter now heads to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct which will consider punishment for Rep. Rangel.
I wouldn’t expect much in the way of fireworks, the ethics committee investigation recommended a reprimand from the outset and I wouldn’t expect any worse than censure… which basically public scolding.
Democrats could strip him of his committee chairmanships and assignments if they so chose, but no formal rule on that.