Rep. Charles Rangel: Today Could Be ‘A Bad Day’

Jul 29, 2010 10:06am

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:

A clearly dejected Rep. Charles Rangel just arrived at his Capitol Hill office, telling reporters today could be a bad day.

Rangel, D-NY, did not seem thrilled to see the media camped out in the hallway upon his arrival.

“Ahh boy,” Rangel said as the reporters and TV camera crews scrambled into position.

“Sixty years ago, I survived a Chinese attack in North Korea, and as a result, I wrote a book that having survived that, that I haven’t had a bad day since,” Rangel said. “Today, I have to reassess that statement. Thank you.”

Rangel ignored questions asking whether his lawyers have struck a deal with the ethics committee, and he did not indicate whether he will attend the 1:00 p.m. hearing.

Rangel, who resigned as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in March, has been under investigation for multiple alleged violations including:

- Improper fundraising for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York;

- Improperly obtaining four rent-controlled apartments in New York City;

- Failure to disclose financial arrangements for a villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic;

- Improper storage of a vehicle in the House parking lot; and

- Failure to reveal more than $500,000 in assets in his financial disclosure forms.

At the hearing later today, the ethics committee will specify which of these allegations will result in formal charges.

That process is only expected to take 45 minutes, but it will be public and excruciating for a man once considered one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill.

Rangel’s trial would not occur until September. Democratic leaders have publicly kept their distance from Rangel since news of the Ethics Committee charges surfaced last week.

Several Democrats in key races have returned campaign contributions from Rangel, others have called for him to step down.

In New York, a much-ballyhooed 80th birthday party and fundraiser for Rangel, scheduled for Aug. 11 at the Plaza, has been thrown into doubt. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this Tuesday he was unsure if he would even attend.

In Washington this week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he wants to move past Rangel’s problems.

“I think everybody would like to have it go away in the sense that this is not a pleasant process,” Hoyer said.

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.

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