Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is indeed representing himself during his ethics committee hearing.
He blamed the panel for him not having lawyers. He said the long investigation leading to the hearing — two years — racked up big legal bills for him, to the tune of $2 million. His lawyers, Rangel said, quit because they didn’t think he could pay the increasing bills.
Rangel also claimed that the committee informed him that he could set up a legal defense fund only two weeks ago.
Rangel suggested it was a violation of due process to hold the hearing while he doesn’t have counsel. He claimed the committee is moving forward because “we don’t have time” before the end of this Congress.
“Because of limitations of time, we won’t go through the process,” he said, indignantly.
Asked by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) if his remarks were a motion to continue, or delay, the hearing, Rangel said no.
“I’ve been a lawyer long enough to know it’s very very unwise to represent” one’s self, he said, suggesting because he was “denied” a lawyer, he can’t make such a motion.