DeLay calls Rangel ethics trial 'unfair'

The ethics trial against Rep. Charles Rangel has been "unfair," former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said on Monday.

DeLay, who was admonished several times by the House ethics committee during his tenure as majority leader, said that the two-year investigation of the New York Democrat has been excessive.

ADVERTISEMENT
"In the case of Rangel, I think it's unfair it's taken two years to come to this and right before an election," he told reporters on a conference call.

DeLay held the call in response to the Justice Department's decision to end its six-year probe into his ties with convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which helped end Republican control of the House in 2006.

Upon taking power of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pledged that her party would "drain the swamp" of the Republicans' ethics woes. Pelosi recently referred to GOP reign over the House during the DeLay era as a "criminal syndicate."

But House Democrats now have two members who are on pace to face ethics trials before the November midterm elections — Rangel and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) 

Rangel himself has called on the ethics committee to expedite its trial of him so that voters in the Sept. 14 primary election knows where he stands.

DeLay noted that Rangel's problems are "totally different from what I have been going through" because his charges were criminal, while Rangel faces 13 alleged violations of House rules.

The Texan also falsely claimed that Rangel "admitted" he broke House rules during a 30-minute House floor speech last week. 

DeLay criticized Pelosi for urging ethics probes of him during his time in Congress.

"Nancy Pelosi said she wanted to drain the swamp — well, she was the swamp," he said.