Ethics Subcommittee Recommended Reprimand for Rangel

Posted July 30, 2010 at 11:25am

Updated: 1:16 p.m.

The investigatory subcommittee that probed ethical lapses by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) has recommended he be reprimanded, said that panel’s chairman, Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas).

“The recommendation that we have is a reprimand,” Green told reporters on Friday.

A reprimand would have to be approved by a majority of the full Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and ultimately the House would have to vote on the punishment. But it would fall short of a censure or expulsion of Rangel from the chamber.

Green said that the subcommittee met with Rangel three times, including once last year under oath and twice in the past two or three months as they were discussing a possible settlement of the charges. But Green said that despite rumors of negotiations between ethics staff and Rangel’s lawyers on a possible settlement, nothing reached the Member level in the past two weeks. Any negotiations from this point on would have to be with the adjudicatory subcommittee, Green said.

Rangel was charged Thursday with 13 counts of violating House rules. He is set to go to a public trial before his peers in September.

On Thursday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the ranking member of the adjudicatory panel that read the charges against the New York lawmaker, said of a possible deal with Rangel: “There has been talk in the media about Mr. Rangel negotiating a settlement. Let me be clear that Mr. Rangel under these rules was given opportunities to negotiate a settlement during the investigation phase. We are now in the trial phase. The American people deserve to hear the truth in this case and the charges against him.”