On the eve of a House ethics committee meeting to decide his punishment, rumors swirled Wednesday that Harlem political legend Charlie Rangel will appear in Washington and make a last-minute plea to salvage his reputation.
The 80-year-old disgraced lawmaker would have 30 minutes Thursday to plead his case to the bipartisan committee before it deliberates.
“He’s an ex-Marine. He’s a fighter. He’s convinced he’s right,” said Stuart Rothenberg, of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. “I wouldn’t rule anything out because he’s probably reassessing his plan.”
Political experts predicted his penalty will be a reprimand or censure, not expulsion.
Thursday would be the first time Rangel, a 40-year veteran of the House, has appeared before his colleagues since walking out of a subcommittee hearing on Monday. He has accused that panel of “unfairly” convicting him on 11 counts of misconduct without him present.
Among other violations, Rangel was found guilty of neglecting to pay income taxes on his Dominican Republican villa.