Rep. Rangel opponent: N.Y. delegation should call for Rangel's resignation

New York Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (D) says he's not sure why Democratic members of New York's congressional delegation are waitingto call on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign his seat in Congress.

"They need to call on him to resign," said Powell. "And he needs to resign before the [September 14] primary."

The House ethics committee on Thursday unveiled 13 charges against Rangel. 

He is accused of improperly soliciting donations for the Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York; of using a rent-stabilized apartment in Harlem for his campaign office; of failing to report more than $600,000 on his financial disclosure report; and of failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.

"Democrats stand to lose the Democratic majority in November as a result of this," Powell added. 

Powell is one of a handful of Democrats running against Rangel in a September primary. He's the son of former Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (D), the man Rangel defeated to first win the seat in 1970. Despite questions about his own standing in the district, Powell IV is considered by most to be Rangel's toughest primary opponent. 

"It comes as very little surprise to me that Charlie's opponents are relishing in his anguish," Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) told The Hill. "But no one else is."

Weiner declined to call on Rangel to step down, saying the congressman "has served his country, his state and his city" and now that the charges have been aired "we should let him speak for himself." 

"He's a good man; helped a lot of people," said Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.). "He's been there for so many of us."

Towns said he didn't think Rangel should resign, either. "He's done nothing to help himself," he said. "He's doing everything to help others."

-Sean J. Miller and Susan Crabtree contributed to this post.