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Much more coming today as the House ethics committee prepares to release its treasure trove of charges against corruptocrat Charlie Rangel, but I had to call your attention immediately to this maudlin, sycophantic paean to Rangel from WaPo’s Dana Milbank. It’s titled “Charlie Rangel: Fallling with Grace.” (“Grace?!” Guess he missed this and this.)
Get out your airsickness bag:
The moment Charlie Rangel walked into the ballroom for a luncheon with the National Urban League on Wednesday, he was surrounded by reporters and cameras.
Politely, as ever, Rangel declined to answer questions, until Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal asked, “How are you feeling, sir?”
The embattled lawmaker flashed a million-dollar smile and tucked his thumbs in his lapels. “How do I look?” he replied.
Rangel looked great: The 80-year-old Democratic congressman from New York had a rose-colored handkerchief in his pocket and a pink necktie over a gold collar bar and a textured two-tone shirt, all brought together by a black pinstriped suit that accented his silver hair and mustache. But beneath that dapper exterior was a man in turmoil, a politician who had mere hours to choose between two grim options.
Let’s skip to the ending:
An aide put a hand on Rangel’s back and tried to lead him away, but the mob followed him down the convention-hall stairs, some calling out questions and a few stumbling on the steps. Outside, his staffers tried frantically to locate Rangel’s driver, while the congressman pulled out a cellphone and pleaded, “I have to make a couple of calls, and at some point it would be very nice if I could say, ‘Thank you, see you later.’ ” Finally, a silver PT Cruiser pulled up with New York plates saying “NYREP15” and Rangel climbed in.
“Excuse me, who was that?” a young woman on the sidewalk asked the reporters.
That was Charlie Rangel, who took 36 years to climb to the top, only to lose it all in an instant.
“[O]nly to lose it all in an instant?” Spare us. Rangel didn’t take “an instant” to abuse his office, exploit his entrenched incumbency, escape accountability, flout the rules, and thumb his nose at taxpayers.
His long ride down has taken years — stretched out far too long thanks to the indulgence and protectionism of his corruption-enabling colleagues on the Hill.
Stay tuned for more caterwauling, MSM apologias, and the inevitable race-card refrains.
All together now: Boo-freaking-hoo.
The Rangel subcommittee hearing begins at 1pm Eastern. C-SPAN 3 will be televising.
Cue the world’s smallest violin. ABC News previews Rangel’s “Bad Day:”
Embattled New York Rep. Charles Rangel says he hasn’t had a bad day in 60 years. But “today I have to reassess that statement,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Congressman Charles Rangel talks to press about ethics meeting today.
The 40-year House veteran and former Ways and Means Committee chairman, accused of a slew of ethics violations, faces a panel of his peers this afternoon when the details of the charges will be revealed.
Rangel and his lawyers have been negotiating with the Ethics Committee to avoid a public trial but have yet to reach a deal. Many observers say Rangel, 80, would likely have to admit at least some culpability.
Update 1:10pm Eastern: Wheeling and dealing and CYA…
Rep. Charles Rangel reportedly has struck a deal with the congressional panel investigating alleged ethics violations as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood by her pledge to “drain the swamp” in the House and said she would let Rangel’s chips “fall where they may.”
The CBS affiliate in New York reported the deal was in the works — though any arrangement would have to be approved by the subcommittee hearing the case, the full ethics committee and potentially the full House of Representatives.
If there is an arrangement, it could be discussed at the ethics hearing set for Thursday afternoon.
AP reporting that Rangel says he’s not aware if there is a deal.
Nan Pelosi is the world’s worst cleaning lady.
Update 1:30pm Eastern: Tick, tick, tick. Hearing is 30 minutes overdue. Wrangle, tangle, wheel & deal…
A Hill source says the Democrats called an hour-long series of votes to give him time to accept the deal.
A House ethics panel met briefly Tuesday on possible charges against New York Rep. Charles Rangel as the longtime lawmaker said he’s done nothing wrong to warrant an adjudicatory subcommittee’s review of 13 allegations of misconduct.
But Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, ranking member on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct , said Rangel was given an opportunity to settle charges during the investigative process, and that time has passed.
“Let me be clear that Mr. Rangel under these rules was given opportunities to negotiate a settlement during the investigation. Let me be clear that I did not participate in any attempts to cut a back room deal behind closed doors,” McCaul said at the start of a hearing on possible corruption charges.
Rangel clings to delusion:
Despite the meeting, Rangel said there is “no inference of corruption” in his dealings, a contention that flies in the face of the meeting taking place by the adjudicatory subcommittee, which was asked to “prove” the allegations.
“The good thing is that no matter how this thing ends, corruption and dishonesty have never been on the table,” he said.