Ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) sought to clarify the situation while speaking on the House floor last week. “We do not discuss the executive session deliberations of the committee, but I feel obliged to note, since I think a misimpression could be had, that in fact Mr. Rangel did sign a settlement effort, and the committee was unable to reach a settlement agreement with Mr. Rangel earlier this year,” she said Thursday.
Rangel has implied that the vote was political, saying Sunday that Members wouldn’t want to “do anything to look like you’re going easy on anybody in Washington.”
“But I can tell that individually, whether it’s Republicans or Democrats, they knew what I had done did not reach the level of a censure,” he said. “I accepted it, and I want to pick up the pieces and move on. There’s so much work that has to be done, and I’m very anxious to get started.”
When asked whether there were also racial motivations, he responded, “That’s the last thing in the world that I would want to discuss because God has been very good to me.” He listed his political successes as a prosecutor, state legislator and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, saying, “I’d be hard put to start complaining now.”
Rangel forfeited his gavel in March after the ethics committee reprimanded him in an unrelated investigation for taking part in two Caribbean trips that violated House rules because the events received corporate funding.
Jennifer Yachnin and Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.