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Culture of corruption: Rangel (and Pelosi) on trial; Update: sob story circus, delay rejected, Rangel-less hearing

By Michelle Malkin  •  November 15, 2010 08:49 AM

Drain the swamp? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Corruptocrat Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) faces his delayed House ethics trial today at 9am Eastern — though reports say he may not show. Stay tuned for updates.

CSPAN-3 is supposed to carry the proceedings – online stream is here.

Rangel is expected to stand alone before the panel without a defense team; the lawyers quit after a tussle over strategy two months ago. The adjudicatory hearing comes just as another dark cloud rolls in over Rangel’s head. Via the NYPost, Rangel “appears to have improperly used political-action committee money to pay for his defense,” which he no longer has. “Rangel tapped his National Leadership PAC for $293,000 to pay his main legal-defense team this year. He took another $100,000 from the PAC in 2009 to pay lawyer Lanny Davis. Two legal experts told The Post such spending is against House rules.” Which House rules hasn’t Rangel broken?

The most ethical, transparent House ever is operating in its usual cloaked manner. WaPo reports: “The logistics of the cases are somewhat unclear because the ethics committee tends to operate in deep levels of secrecy. The prosecution will be represented by staff lawyers for the committee who handled the two-year investigation of Rangel; the congressman is expected to deliver an opening statement that would likely mirror much of his August floor speech. It is unclear whether witnesses will be on hand or if committee lawyers will just read transcripts, and, if witnesses are present, whether Rangel will cross-examine them under oath.”

A reminder of the 13 charges against Rangel, which were unveiled back in July:

Count I: Conduct in Violation of the Solicitation and Gift Ban
Count II: Conduct in Violation of Code of Ethics for Government Service
Count III: Conduct in Violation of the House Gift Rule
Count IV: Conduct in Violation of Postal Service Laws and Franking Commission Regulations
Count V: Conduct in Violation of Franking Statue
Count VI: Conduct in Violation of House Office Building Commission’s Regulations
Count VII: Conduct in Violation of the Purpose Law and the Member’s Congressional Handbook
Count VIII: Conduct in Violation of the Letterhead Rule
Count IX: Conduct in Violation of the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) and House Rule XXVI
Count X: Conduct in Violation of Code of Ethics for Government Service
Count XI: Conduct in Violation of Code of Ethics for Government Service
Count XII: Conduct in Violation of Code of Conduct: Letter and Spirit of House Rules
Count XIII: Conduct in Violation of the Code of Conduct: Conduct Reflecting Discreditably on the House

Yes, the dirty laundry that the Dems stuffed in a closet during the midterms will finally get an airing. It’s as much a trial of Rangel as it is of Swamp Drain Failure Nancy Pelosi.

Mop and glow, Dems!


Update: 9:10am Eastern. Hearing has begun. Rangel showed up. Mirabile dictu!

Update: 9:30am – Rangel is playing victim, asking for more time. Complains about toll on family, pleads for delay because of – wait for it – lack of money!

Rangel threatens to walk out. Panel retreats behind closed doors.

Update 10:23am Panel will not delay trial. Hearing will proceed without Rangel. A few of the Democrats cry “unfair” on Rangel’s behalf, but chairwoman Rep. Lofgren proceeds.

House investigator Blake Chisam notes that Rangel had six months’ notice, refused to respond or prepare a case. “It’s time for you to vote.”

Investigator is reviewing the 13 charges. “The facts are uncontested.” Rangel “repeatedly” he did not get disclosure and tax filings correct.

Damning: Chisam shows video clips of Rangel from his House floor meltdown, which corroborate violations of rules.

Update: 11:30am Eastern Panel adjourns until 1pm Eastern to discuss motion to vote on charges.

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Categories: Corruption, Democrats, Hillary Clinton