charlie rangel

Rangel faces a House ethics committee hearing

From Deirdre Walsh and Brianna Keilar, CNN

Washington (CNN) — The House Ethics Committee will hold a formal hearing on alleged violations by Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat forced to step aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year over ethics questions.

In a document issued Thursday, the panel appointed an eight-member adjudicatory subcommittee to determine if allegations against Rangel “have been proved by clear and convincing evidence.”

A formal hearing will be a trial-like session involving formal charges with lawyers for the House acting as prosecutors and Rangel’s lawyers defending him.

There was no immediate information available on the possible charges Rangel faces. According to the ethics committee document, the subcommittee that will hold the formal hearing will have its first organizational meeting on July 29.

In comments to reporters, Rangel said he welcomed the news and wanted to testify in his defense.

“It gives me an opportunity to respond to my friends and constituents who have supported me for 40 years,” Rangel said. “All I’ve been able to give them is ‘trust me.’ ”

Now, he said, the facts will come out. However, Rangel said he has yet to see any formal charges against him.

“Until they go public, I can’t go public,” Rangel said, later adding: “There is no report. They gave this thing that said the report would be issued” on July 29.

Rangel temporarily stepped down as Ways and Means chairman following the announcement of an ethics investigation of several allegations, including failure to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic

The congressman has also admitted a failure to report several hundred thousand dollars in assets on federal disclosure forms.

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