Rangel confirms settlement talks with ethics panel that would avoid a public hearing- CNN.com
Washington (CNN) — Veteran Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York confirmed Tuesday that his lawyers are discussing a possible settlement with lawyers for the House ethics committee that would avoid a public hearing this week on ethics allegations against him.
“Negotiations are much like the arc of legislative conferences, and that is until everything is agreed upon, there’s absolutely nothing agreed upon,” Rangel said while leaving the House floor after several votes.
He declined to talk about any details of the negotiations handled by his legal team, saying he was not participating in the talks himself.
Earlier, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said it was up to Rangel to decide whether to resign over the pending ethics allegations.
“Mr. Rangel has to do what Mr. Rangel believes is appropriate and proper,” Hoyer said, taking a neutral stance instead of offering support for the 20-term veteran of the House Democratic caucus that Hoyer leads.
Rangel gave up his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year because of the allegations he violated House rules by failing to disclose personal income and other acts.
The House ethics committee on Thursday will make public a report of Rangel’s alleged violations. After a nearly two-year investigation of Rangel, the committee’s report could bring a trial by a panel subcommittee in September.
Rangel acknowledged that the issue was having an impact on fellow House Democrats as they face congressional midterm elections this year.
“This is a very trying period not only for me but for the Congress and especially my Democratic colleagues,” Rangel said, adding that the issue was not personal but “very, very political.”
In his comments, Hoyer stressed that the formal ethics process should be allowed to continue and that it’s up to Rangel to decide whether he wants to settle the matter ahead of Thursday’s hearing.
“I think everyone would like to have it go away, in the sense that this is not a pleasant process,” Hoyer said, adding: “I don’t know what Mr. Rangel’s decision is going to be as to how far he’s going to pursue this, but he certainly has the