Rep. Charles Rangel (D) spoke to reporters from the Harlem district he's served for over 40 years and said he was speaking against the advice of his lawyers. He claimed he was glad for the public House trial next week—he's accused of numerous ethics violations—because then there will be more facts, "I cannot think of anything that relieves me more than to be able to say to my constituents, 'This is the result of the investigation' so that they would know who Charlie Rangel is.'... Those of you who know me know that saying, 'No comment' is very, very difficult for me." Heck, he even apologized to Luke Russert—video below:
While the exact charges haven't been disclosed yet, they are apparently related to his four (!) rent-stabilized apartments, not reporting income and/or taxes on various properties and sales and preserving a tax loophole worth $500 million for an oil executive donating money to a CUNY graduate school named after him. Democratic Congresswoman Betty Sutton of Ohio said yesterday, "It is regrettable, but Charlie Rangel needs to resign from his seat in Congress. This isn't about being a Democrat or Republican this is about preserving the public trust." And, in a story about how Rangel and the House were in settlement talks (which broke down), the NY Times reports, "What is most disconcerting to House leaders, according to two senior aides, is their view that Mr. Rangel is more focused on limiting damage to his legacy than on preserving Democratic control of the House."
Still, Rangel said, "To my family, friends and constituents that have been there for me throughout, I can only say without dispute that I won't let you down." The Daily News points out, "The schedule for the ethics trial favors Rangel. Only one meeting could be held before his Sept. 14 primary - leaving the bulk of what could be an ugly process to unspool going into November's elections," and that Rangel needs to run this fall in order to raise money to pay his huge legal fees.