Charlie Rangel found guilty of ethics violations, says he was 'deprived of due process'
on November 16, 2010, 04:53 PMCharlie Rangel claims he was "deprived of due process" after his conviction of breaking ethics.
WASHINGTON — Saying he was "deprived of due process," Rep. Charles Rangel, once
one of the most influential House members, was convicted today on 11
counts of breaking ethics rules and now faces punishment.
After the conviction, Rangel said the committee's decision was wrong.
"How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the ethics
subcommittee when I was deprived of due process rights, right to
counsel and was not even in the room?" he said. "I can only hope that
the full committee will treat me more fairly, and take into account my
entire 40 years of service to the Congress before making any decisions
"I am disappointed by the unfortunate findings
of the ethics subcommittee. The Committee's actions are unprecedented
in view of the fact that they arrived at without rebuttal or counter
evidence on my behalf."
An ethics panel of eight House peers
deliberated over two days before delivering a jarring blow to the
20-term New York Democrat’s career.
Rangel was originally charged with 13 counts of financial and fundraising misconduct.
The conviction also was another setback for Democrats who lost control of the House to the GOP in the midterm elections.
"This unfair decision is the inevitable result of the Committee's
insistence on moving forward despite the absence of any legal
representation on my behalf. The Committee elected to reject my appeal
for additional time to secure new counsel and thus acted in violation
of the basic constitutional right to counsel," said Rangel.
"The committee's findings are even more difficult to understand in view
of yesterday's declaration by the committee's chief counsel, Blake
Chisam, that there was no evidence of corruption or personal gain in
his findings. From here forward, it is my hope that the full Ethics
Committee will take into consideration the opinion of its chief counsel
as well as the statement by Rep. Bobby Scott, a member of its
investigatory subcommittee who said that any failings in my conduct
were the result of "good faith mistakes" and were caused by 'sloppy and
careless recordkeeping, but were not criminal or corrupt.'"
Rangel, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is not
expected to resign. He is 80 years old and remains a dominant political
figure in New York’s famed Harlem neighborhood.