By Jay Heflin - 08/10/10 05:49 PM EDT
One charge against him is failing to disclosure income earned from a rental unit in the Dominican Republic. Rangel contends that after paying taxes to the island and depreciation there was no tax liability.
"There's no — not one scintilla bit of evidence that the negligence involved in the disclosure, that there was some way to hide from the public of what I did," he said.
Rangel said his main fault was making mistakes in filing his tax return, but it wasn't something that amounted to corruption.
"I'm not asking for leniency," he said. "I'm asking for exposure of the facts."
During the speech, Rangel repeatedly called on the chamber to act on his charges, and at one point challenged members to do something about them.
"If I can't get my dignity back here [on the chamber floor] then fire your best shot of getting rid of me through expulsion," he said.
At the conclusion of a speech that lasted at least 25 minutes, Rangel apologized for making anyone feel uncomfortable and left the floor.