**Written by Doug Powers
In December of 2010, the Democrat-controlled House voted 333-79 to make Charlie Rangel the first member in 27 years to be censured. Shortly after that, Rangel delivered his “old, tax evading congressmen never die, they just refuse to be shamed away” speech.
Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel is suing Speaker John Boehner and six other lawmakers, alleging problems with the House ethics investigation that led to his censure in 2010.
In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the New York Democrat alleges “numerous, flagrant, knowing and intentional violations” of his due process rights.
The lawsuit names Boehner; Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who was chairwoman of the House ethics committee at the time of the censure; and other committee members and staff. The congressman alleges that evidence was withheld by the committee staff.
In the suit, Rangel alleges that he suffered “irreparable harm that cannot be compensated by money damages.” Rangel claims to just want to correct an injustice and isn’t after money, which he has plenty of — thanks to, you know… not paying taxes on stuff for so long.
As Jeff Dunetz pointed out at The Lid, you’ll notice at no point does Rangel claim his innocence.
When Rangel alleges there was “evidence withheld by the committee staff,” we’re not quite sure he Charlie’s referring to material that would have cleared him of the charges, or trying to prove that the committee’s decision should be overturned because there was a whole lot more evidence against him they incompetently forgot to introduce, and as such weren’t fit to judge him.
Considering all the evidence against Rangel, the fact that the ethics panel recommended censure instead of expulsion was in itself proof of a corrupt system. However, Rangel probably won’t take that angle to discredit the committee because it would require arguing that he’s a much more crooked than he was given proper credit for. Or maybe he will — nothing would be surprising.
**Written by Doug Powers
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