Nancy Pelosi defends Charlie Rangel
After news broke that the House ethics committee plans to admonish Rep. Charlie Rangel for violating House rules, Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately came to Rangel’s rescue, once again.
No surprise here since in the past Pelosi has been Rangel’s most prominent defender through his many tax evasion episodes – thieves sticking together and all that.
“I think that every member is entitled to have his day before the ethics committee,” she said. “They have said he did not knowingly violate the rules. And, again, if this were the end of it, that would be one thing. But there’s obviously more to come and we’ll see what happens with that. But every member has that right.”
Pelosi said, “All I saw was the press release where it said he didn’t violate the rules of the House.” She noted that the report said Rangel didn’t know he was violating rules that applied to a lobbyist-funded trip to the Caribbean.
Pelosi pointed out that the ethics committee found that Rangel’s staffers knew corporate money was paying for trips even though Rangel claims he didn’t.
“I think it’s quite a statement to hold members accountable for what their staffs knew,” she said. “I’ll be interested to see how that reverberates.”
Typical Charlie Rangel to go with the twofer “ignorance” and “the staffer did it” defense.
Pelosi failed to mention whether Rangel should stay on as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, but this might be a good time to remind her about the promise of the most ethical administration ever.
“Obviously they have other issues to deal with,” Pelosi said. “We’ll just see what happens next and what comes out of the ethics committee.”
John Murtha could not be reached for comment.