Rangel walks out of his own ethics trial, members debate acting in absentia

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., requested a delay in his ethics hearing on the grounds that he lacked counsel. His request was denied.

The members of the Ethics subcommittee holding the hearing now appear to be considering whether they can grant the equivalent of “summary judgment” against Rangel. The committee has a set of uncontested facts — regarding Rangel’s rent-controlled apartments and his failure to report income to the IRS — which establish that Rangel violated ethics rules. From these, Ethics committee counsel Blake Chisam said, the panel should be able to determine whether he violated House rules without any further hearings or testimony.

They’re also debating whether one of the counts — Rangel’s fundraising for an academic institute that bears his own name — is really a violation.

You can watch the ongoing proceedings here on C-Span.

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