Former Ways and Means Chairman, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D., NY) will be tried on serious charges of ethics violations after he rejected the findings of the Ethics Committee, including the alleged failure to declare up to $831,000 in assets and use of his office to raise money for a center named after himself.
In a separate case, Rangel was accused of accepting free trips from corporate interests and other violations.
Rangel, 80, appears set for trial — a process last used by Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) before he went to federal prison. He has spent more than $2 million of his campaign funds on his legal team.
The trial is probably a greater concern for the Democrats than Rangel who is at the end of his career and is fighting for his legacy. For Democrats, it could not come at a worse moment with polls showing Congress at an all-time low of eleven percent. If Rangel wanted to simply continue in office, he probably could have accepted the allegations and weathered the storm in a safe district. However, he wants his day in court (though this can only be loosely analogized to a court proceeding).
Source: Washington Post