Ethics committee to hold sanctions hearing for Rangel after conviction

The House ethics committee announced it will hold a hearing Thursday afternoon to determine its recommended punishment for Rep. Charles Rangel, who was convicted on 11 counts of violating House ethics rules this week. 

The committee said it will meet noon Thursday "to receive information from the parties regarding their recommendations for appropriate sanctions" for Rangel (D-N.Y.)

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Wednesday's announcement is another indication the ethics committee is working to bring a quick end to its dealings with Rangel, which have lasted more than two years.

The panel is expected to recommend a reprimand or formal censure for the 20-term lawmaker, who was found guilty of improper use of House resources for soliciting donations for a public policy center in his name, failing to pay taxes on a Dominican villa, using a rent-controlled apartment as a campaign office and not reporting income on a financial disclosure statement. 

A censure or reprimand of Rangel would require a majority vote by the full House. Expulsion, which observers do not believe is likely, would need a two-thirds majority of House members to pass.  

Rangel, 80, was elected to another term two weeks ago.


In a statement Tuesday, Rangel reiterated his belief that his due process rights were violated because the adjudicatory subcommittee moved forward with his trial without him having legal representation. He also stressed his long record of service in the House to his colleague who could decide his fate. 

"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?" Rangel 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 on sanction."

Ethics watchdog groups have called for Rangel's resignation.