WASHINGTON - People familiar with the talks say representatives of New York Democrat Charles Rangel and lawyers for the House ethics committee have reached a plea deal in his ethics case. However, committee members have not agreed to the settlement.
It was not immediately clear how many of the 13 charges of ethical violations Rangel agreed to accept.
The ethics panel that will judge Rangel’s conduct held its first meeting Thursday.
However, he said, that phase is now over and “we are now in the trial phase.”
The charges include failure to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic and failing to report more than $600,000 income on his congressional financial disclosure statements.
The charges were read in a public session of the House ethics committee after lawyers for Rangel, 80, failed to nail down a last-minute deal to avoid a public congressional trial.
Rangel did not attend the session at which the allegations were read. They set the stage for a trial expected to be held in September. Democrats had hoped to avoid such a public confrontation as November midterm elections approach.
The alleged violations include using congressional letterhead to solicit donations for a center for public service to bear his name on the New York campus of the City College of New York.
However, he said, that phase is now over. “We are now in the trial phase,” he said.