Lofgren: Rangel Hearing to Proceed as Planned

Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:11am

House ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said Thursday morning that a special panel called to review allegations that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) violated House rules will proceed as planned Thursday afternoon.

The ethics panel announced last week that one of its investigative subcommittees had found substantial reason to believe that Rangel broke House rules after a nearly two-year probe into allegations involving Rangel’s personal finances, fundraising efforts and other issues.

A special adjudicatory panel — led by Lofgren and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) — is scheduled to unveil the allegations against Rangel on Thursday at a public hearing in the Capitol Visitor Center and is expected to hold a proceeding similar to a trial in September.

Exiting the office of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the ethics panel, Lofgren declined Thursday morning to answer questions about negotiations between Rangel and ethics committee attorneys.

Lofgren also demurred when asked about Thursday’s adjudicatory hearing, confirming only that it will take place. “I will have a statement,” Lofgren said of her planned remarks.

McCaul is also expected to make opening remarks. Reps. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Gene Green (D-Texas), who lead the investigative subcommittee that probed Rangel’s alleged wrongdoings, are also expected to address the adjudicatory panel.

Asked whether Rangel would address the panel or had been invited make a statement Thursday, Lofgren said, “No.”