In a long speech on the House floor today, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) vowed to continue fighting House ethics charges and promised he won’t resign.
Rangel said he may have been “stupid” and “negligent,” but he was never “corrupt.”
To applause from some fellow Democrats, Rangel said he won’t leave the House over the allegations. He also excoriated the ethics committee for not yet setting a date for his trial.
“if it is the judgment of people here, for whatever reason, that I resign, then heck, have the ethics committee expedite this. Don’t leave me swinging in the wind until November,” he said. “If this is an emergency — and I think it is, to help our local and state governments out — what about me?”
“I don’t want anyone to feel embarrassed, awkward,” he continued. “Hey, if I was you, I’d want me to go away too.
“I am not going away. I am here,” he said, to applause.
The House is supposed to be in recess, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi called members back today to vote on an aid package for states. Rangel took advantage of the special session to speak on the floor in his own defense for about 30 minutes.
Rangel is charges with 13 ethics violations. He’s accused of breaking House rules by fund-raising for an educational center named in his honor, failing to report certain income and improperly using rent-controlled housing in Harlem.