Rangel: Resigning now would be un-American

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Saturday it would be un-American of him to resign in the face of a looming ethics trial.

The Hill first reported Friday night that Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) had called on Rangel to step down, the first sitting House Democrat to do so.

The New York Daily News reported Saturday that Rangel, speaking to reporters at Harlem Hospital, brushed off the call to give up his seat.

“Well, it wouldn’t be the American thing to do,” he said. “I think I owe it to the process to find out first what the investigative committee finds out.”

“...I really never heard of that concept that if someone accuses you of something, why don’t you just step aside so you don’t embarrass anybody and admit to something that you don’t believe is true.”

Rangel also addressed why he didn’t settle the case, which would have avoided a trial but forced the congressman to admit ethics violations.

“I don’t know how I can make a deal when no one knows what they’ve found,” he said.