Chopping Block

Rangel Fumbles Ethics Plea Deal

The hits keep coming for Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), whose chances of cutting a deal for his alleged ethics violations became slimmer Tuesday amid allegations that he met privately with Ethics Committee Chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) without any Republican members of the bipartisan panel present. Lofgren and sources close to Rangel deny a meeting took place, but sources close to the investigation claim that Rangel’s attorneys met with Ethics Committee staff on Monday without top GOP committee member Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) present. The committee is set to begin investigating Rangel for a number of ethics violations on Thursday. Top House leaders are keeping mum on the situation, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) saying she doesn’t “know how that happened,” while House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) called it a “sad day” when Congress has to try one of its own members. Two Democratic representatives have called for Rangel’s resignation, and public probes may be troublesome for vulnerable Democrats in the House with midterm elections looming.