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Rangel wrist-slap hearing convenes; House ethics chief counsel recommends censure; Rep. Lewis plays the race-baiting stooge; Charlie chokes up: I am not a crook moment; Update: Ethics panel endorses censure, 9-1

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 18, 2010 12:14 PM

The House Ethics Committee is now holding an open hearing on corruptocrat Democrat Charlie Rangel’s sanctions for violating 11 of 13 ethics charges.

Rangel is in the room. He is flanked by Democrat Rep. John Lewis.

You can watch the livestream at CSPAN3 online now. More from CSPAN3:

After the committee meets in an open session, they will proceed behind closed doors to vote on the disciplinary measures. They will then send a final report to the U.S. House so that action they recommend may be taken. Rangel, who was recently reelected to his 20th term in office, is not expected to face the most severe punishment, which would be expulsion from the House, but other penalties range from a reprimand to paying a fine. The 11 violations include filing flawed financial-disclosure statements and the misuse of a rent-controlled apartment.

To repeat: Deliberations will take place behind closed doors.

Long live transparency!

Rangel pleads for “fairness” and “mercy,” after whining about being “smeared:”

Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel admitted he made “mistakes,” then claimed he was “smeared,” and finally pleaded for “a drop of fairness and mercy” in a rambling statement Thursday.

“I have been smeared with allegations of corruption and personal gain,” Rangel said.

Rangel released his statement just before he was to learn his punishment from the House panel that found him guilty two days ago of 11 ethics violations.

“I was and am disappointed that the Committee reached its decision without affording me the right to adequately defend myself with the aid of counsel,” Rangel wrote.

The 80-year-old lawmaker neglected to mention that it was his decision to show up for his ethics trial without a lawyer – and then boycott the proceedings after the panel refused his request for a delay.

Self-delusion in full bloom at Rangel’s site: “No evidence of corruption.”

Leave your predictions on what degree of wrist-slap the House ethics panel will recommend…

***

GOP Rep. Jo Bonner blasts Rangel’s “arrogance.”

“It is painful for me to say this to a man whom I personally respect, but Mr. Rangel can blame no one other than himself for the position he finds himself in…he should only look in the mirror for who to blame.”

House ethics panel chief counsel Blake Chisam reviews past punishments issued by committee ranging from expulsion to letters of reprimand.

Chisam blasts Rangel’s “sloppiness” and “carelessness” in filing his own taxes and public disclosure documents while overseeing tax laws for everyone else. “Public office is public trust. [Rangel] violated that trust.”

Chisam: “Reprimand would not be inconsistent with precedent…however…something more than a reprimand but less than a censure would not be appropriate…we cannot ignore the fact that [Rangel] was ranking chairman…as a result, I respectfully submit that this committee…recommend…censure…”

12:56pm Eastern Rangel has been rambling for the past 15 minutes or so, at times defiant, saying he doesn’t want to relitigate the ethic trial he skipped out on — and then proceeding to relitigate it.

Rangel says he doesn’t want to be “self-serving” & praise himself for his 50 years in government, so he brought Rep. John Lewis to do it for him. But before turning over the mic, Rangel pats himself on the back.

John Lewis on Rangel: “I don’t know the facts in this case…” But proceeds to extol Rangel for marching for civil rights, anyway.

Ian Schwartz at RCP has the embarrassing vid.

1:30pm Eastern Panel is now in executive session behind closed doors to determine final degree of wrist-slap.

2:59pm Eastern Rangel gave closing statement before panel re-adjourned to decide on sanctions. Pleaded not to be labeled “corrupt.” Invoked God, apologized for any embarrassment. Crocodile tears welled up in his eyes. Pity party to be continued.

7:08pm Eastern. Ethics panel recommends censure, 9-1.

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