Democrat apologizes for talking about Rangel reprimand

Rep. Gene Green has apologized to the chairwoman of the House ethics panel for revealing how the committee wants to punish Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Green, the chairman of the ethics investigative panel looking into charges against Rangel, told The Hill that he “screwed up” on Friday when revealing that his panel wanted to reprimand Rangel.

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The Texas Democrat said he intended to call the head of the full ethics committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), to apologize for telling reporters that the subcommittee recommended reprimanding Rangel for allegedly breaking House ethics rules. The revelation was not included in the lengthy documents on the charges faced by Rangel that were released on Thursday.

Green explained that the four-person investigative panel's recommended punishment “wasn’t supposed to be included” in the 13-count ethics indictment.

“It’s not an option that is typically published, I screwed up. And I’m going to call Zoe and apologize,” Green told The Hill on Friday afternoon.

Green explained that though the subcommittee had the “authority to recommend” a punishment, “it’s up to the full committee to make that decision.”

Later, Green told reporters that he had made the call to Lofgren to apologize. He also said a final decision on a punishment for Rangel could be made by the entire House.

He added that a statement from the House ethics panel will be released to clarify that point.

Asked by The Hill if his statement from earlier would affect Rangel's ethics trial, Green said "the full committee will make those decisions."

Rangel declined to comment on whether he thought Green's comments would impact his trial.

Asked if he thinks if it was unfair that Green revealed that the ethics panel wanted to reprimand Rangel, the New York Democrat responded, "I am not thinking about that. I am thinking about going to the bathroom."

Rangel then ducked into the bathroom off the House floor as reporters waited for him to come out.

He later wished reporters a good August recess and said he reluctantly has to respond to questions with a "no comment."

He was then asked a question and responded, "No comment," triggering laughter.

This story was updated at 5:33 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Jordan Fabian contributed to this story.