In his first official statement since his conviction for breaking House ethics rules, Rep. Charles Rangel excoriated the decision as "unfair."
Rangel (D-N.Y.) said the ethics adjudicatory subcommittee's "unprecedented" decision violated his due process rights because they ruled without him having legal representation.
"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."
The panel ruled that Rangel was guilty 11 of the 13 charges of violating ethics rules dealing mostly with his personal finances. The subcommittee is expected to recommend a punishment for the 20-term lawmaker.
Rangel did not indicate he would seek to appeal the decision saying, "While I am required to accept the findings of the Ethics Committee, I am compelled to state again the unfairness of its continuation without affording me the opportunity to obtain legal counsel as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution."
Asked if he had any reaction to the panel's decision, Rangel initially told reporters, "Nope, none." The congressman said he does not know if there is an appeals process at this point and added that he first saw the ruling on television.