Today, Rep. Charles Rangel's ethics hearing started. But the longtime Harlem Congressman asked for a postponement, saying he needed time to set up a legal defense fund and get a lawyer, and added that he was denied due process, "Fifty years of public service is on the line."
Rangel was hit with a series of Ethics violations in July—including allegedly improperly soliciting money for a graduate school being named after him, failing to disclosing money on disclosure forms, maintaining multiple rent-stabilized apartments, and failing to pay income taxes on rental income from a Dominican Republic retreat.
Rangel has reportedly spent $2 million legal and communications consulting—before the trial began—and parted ways with his legal team in September. Yesterday, the Post reported that Rangel dipped into political action committees to pay his lawyers nearly $400,000.
As for the trial, Melanie Sloan, executive director of watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, told Politico, "It’s going to be a spectacle. It has lots of potential to be pathetic for Rangel and the committee."