House Moves One Step Closer To Censuring Charlie Rangel

The House of Representatives moved one step closer toward censuring Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) over the 11 ethics violations he was found guilty of earlier this month.

House Resolution 1737, filed late Monday evening by Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), calls for “Representative Charles B. Rangel forthwith present himself in the well of the House for the pronouncement of censure.” The short resolution would be read by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

A vote on the motion could come at anytime. The censure is likely to take place in the coming days, probably without much warning (a courtesy to the member so as to limit media coverage).In recent days, Rangel has been lobbying fellow members of the House to reduce his punishment from a censure to a reprimand. He’s been circulating a 10-point chart noting the previous violations that warranted a censure and proclaiming that he did not take bribes or engage in sexual misconduct (as previous censured members had done).

A large number of documents related to the investigation of Rangel were also posted on the ethics committee’s website this week.

The document dump shows correspondence between the ethics committee and Rangel’s lawyers. In one August letter, The Hill reports, Rangel’s lawyers asked Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) to recuse himself from the case because he made critical statements about Rangel’s involvement in obtaining funding for a public policy center at the City College of New York (one of the focuses of the investigation).

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Members of the ethics panel recommended that Rangel be censured earlier this month after finding him guilty of 11 ethics violations. Full coverage here.

Additional reporting by Rachel Slajda.