Rangel Says He Won’t Quit the House

Posted July 23, 2010 at 12:52pm

Rep. Charlie Rangel indicated Friday that he does not intend to leave the House or end his re-election campaign even as he faces an ethics committee trial over allegations that he may have violated House rules.

“Hey, I’m in the kitchen and I’m not walking out,” the New York Democrat said.

The House ethics committee announced Thursday that an investigative subcommittee found substantial reason to believe that Rangel broke House rules and possibly ran afoul of the law.

The panel has been investigating questions involving Rangel’s personal finances, fundraising efforts and other issues for nearly two years. It did not detail the allegations against Rangel on Thursday and is not expected to do so until a new adjudicatory subcommittee meets Thursday.

Rangel likewise refused to outline the charges he faces from the ethics panel, asserting he is not able to do so until the allegations are made public.

“At this point in time, I have to really consider the process that I’m going through and respect it,” Rangel said. He spoke at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem, N.Y., named after the same lawmaker he narrowly defeated in a 1970 primary. Powell’s son is challenging Rangel in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.

He declined to answer a question on whether he has spoken with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) since the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the ethics panel, issued its statement Thursday.

The New York Democrat did reveal that he apologized Friday to NBC reporter Luke Russert after disparaging Russert’s attempt to interview him Thursday in the Capitol.

“It’s awkward when you can’t give answers to questions,” Rangel said.