Congressional watchdog group calls on Rangel to resign

Amanda Carey Contributor
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In the wake of New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel’s ethics trial, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is calling on the congressman to resign.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said, “All of Mr. Rangel’s theatrics aside, the facts were clear: Mr. Rangel violated numerous House rules and federal laws. Whether these violations were deliberate or inadvertent, the American people deserve to be represented by members of Congress who adhere to the highest ethical standards. Mr. Rangel should resign.”

The left-leaning CREW is a non-profit congressional watchdog organization “dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.” It seems Rep. Rangel would fall into their purview after he was convicted early Tuesday on 11 of the 13 ethics charges against him.

Rangel himself, however, denounced the unanimous decision reached by the bipartisan Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

“I am disappointed by the unfortunate findings of the ethics subcommittee,” said Rangel. “The committee’s actions are unprecedented in view of the fact that they arrived at without rebuttal or counter evidence on my behalf.”

He continued: “The unfair decision is the inevitable result of the committee’s insistence on moving forward despite the absence of any legal representation on my behalf. The committee elected to reject my appeal for additional time to secure new counsel and thus acted in violation of the basic constitutional right to counsel.”

Rangel’s disciplinary action could range from censure to expulsion.