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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NY Lawyer Walks Out of Congressional Hearing, Guilty Anyway

Charlie Rangel and the farce known as congressional ethics
The Washington Post by Dana Milbank - November 16, 2010

Charlie Rangel's trial began with an admonition from House ethics committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) that the matter should be conducted "with the dignity and decorum befitting any proceeding before the House of Representatives." Talk about setting a low bar. Within minutes of its opening Monday morning, the trial degenerated into exactly the level of dignity and decorum we have come to expect from our lawmakers. Rangel immediately requested a postponement of the trial - never mind that the New York Democrat had spent the last three months demanding that the trial be expedited. The man who until recently had sway over hundreds of billions of dollars as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee was now claiming that he was too indigent to hire a lawyer. Half an hour into the public hearing he had demanded for so long, Rangel announced that he was leaving. "I object to the proceedings, and I, with all due respect, since I don't have counsel to advise me, I'm going to have to excuse myself from these proceedings," he told his eight colleagues, who wore expressions of surprise and amusement. Rangel, in his agitation, stepped away from his microphone as he berated the panel members. This forced the C-SPAN sound man to rush forward with a boom microphone, and caused problems for the stenography services, one of which transcribed the beginning of Rangel's diatribe this way: "RANGEL: (OFF-MIKE) On several occasions I've spoken with (inaudible). I've spoken with the chair. And I have (inaudible). . ." After Rangel departed, he treated reporters who chased him down the hall to more of his treatise on fairness and justice. The committee members huddled in private, then decided to proceed with the trial of Rangel in absentia, as if they were a Hague tribunal judging an at-large war criminal.

This was but the latest act in the ongoing farce known as congressional ethics. Rules are so flexible, and enforcement so lax, that even instances that look like outright influence-buying don't get prosecuted. And there's no sign that the situation will improve, as key figures make noises about abolishing the new Office of Congressional Ethics, a semi-independent body designed to make ethics investigations more transparent. Now comes Rangel, who seems determined to take down with him any remaining credibility of the ethics committee. "I am being denied a right to have a lawyer," he informed the committee with righteous indignation. "You may hire whoever you wish as a lawyer," the chairwoman told him. "That is up to you." There is some truth to Rangel's complaint. His law firm, Zuckerman Spaeder, withdrew from the case after his trial date was set, and after Rangel had paid them at least $1.4 million. (The firm says it "did not seek to terminate the relationship.") Rangel, after a tough reelection campaign (and the loss of fundraising clout associated with his committee chairmanship), has little campaign money left to pay another lawyer, and House rules prevent him from accepting pro bono help. (Celebrated criminal lawyer Abbe Lowell, seated with Rangel's family in the hearing room Monday morning, was willing to take the case for a pittance.)

Still, it's difficult to feel sorry for Rangel. He could pay for lawyers by selling off his villa in the Dominican Republic (the one for which he's accused of avoiding taxes - one of the 13 charges against him). Or he could have maintained better relations with his legal team, rather than publicly rejecting their advice in a speech on the House floor. Rangel sauntered into the hearing room - a chamber much less grand than his former Ways & Means lair - wearing a striped tie as loud as the TV test pattern. Rangel smiled as if arriving at a cocktail reception, then stood at attention at the defense table until the committee members walked in, five minutes later. After opening statements, Lofgren asked Rangel, alone at the defense table, if he was represented by counsel. The 80-year-old lawmaker interpreted this as an invitation to make a speech. He delivered a lengthy complaint about the process and a reaffirmation of his innocence. After several minutes of this, the chairwoman interrupted. "Mr. Rangel?" "If the chair is suggesting that I conclude my remarks," Rangel said - Lofgren nodded her agreement - "then I would do that." But not before he made another statement, this one invoking his wartime service and his work for the New York state legislature in the 1960s. The prosecutor attempted to enter his 549 exhibits into the record. "Is there objection?" Lofgren asked. Rangel took this as a cue to make another lengthy speech. Lofgren eventually interrupted. "Mr. Rangel, if you could be seated," she requested. Rangel, ignoring the chairwoman, remained on his feet - the preferred position of a man about to stage a walkout. danamilbank@washpost.com

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought CNN showed powerhouse Washington, DC attorney Abbe Lowell as sitting right behind US Rep Rangel in yesterday's proceeding and that there was even a question if Abbe Lowell was there as Rangel's lawyer?

A later clip explained that Abbe Lowell claimed only to be there as a longtime personal friend of Charlie Rangel although he was walking closely to Rangel throughout the clips and apparently sat right behind him in the proceeding?

Wasn't Abbe Lowell also helping defend former NY GOP powerhouse State Senator Joe Bruno in the federal corruption trial of Bruno?

Looks like attorney Lowell has interesting friends.

This link to a published DOJ letter to Bruno seems to indicate the Bruno corruption related issues are not over. Obviously Bruno was close to Pataki, Pirro, Andrew Cuomo and even ties in to the Bush White House back in the day?

http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/34470/feds-post-skilling-letter-to-joe-brunos-attorneys/

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Bruno was hired, as he has always said, to make connections and to open doors," said Abbe D. Lowell, Bruno's co-counsel, in his opening remarks to the jury.

Bruno's defense team put on their case largely through the questioning of the government's witnesses, many of whom are supportive of Bruno. Lowell has characterized state lawmakers as "part-time" legislators entitled to outside business interests. It's implausible, they said, to do business without bumping against someone with an interest in state government.

Prosecutors countered by showing Bruno routinely arranged for his consulting clients to have meetings with key state officials on issues ranging from the state's multi-billion dollar wireless network to the management of thoroughbred racing tracks. The meetings involved top-level state officials who testified they were unaware Bruno was on the payroll of the people across the table.

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Bruno-trial-contests-way-of-life-in-Albany-583695.php#page-2

Gee, this link shows Abbe Lowell has had almost all the high profile bribery scandal politicians like Jack Abramoff, Torricelli, Espy, Rostenkowski and more. Sounds like the "Feathers" of the big leagues.

http://www.tothepointnews.com/content/view/2111/87/

Anonymous said...

Good 'ole Charlie. In your face corruption, Charlie-style. Of course this crook is a lawyer. What I can't understand is why people keep voting for him. Pretty funny on one hand, pretty pathetic on the other.

Anonymous said...

Ripoff Rangel has clearly lost his mind. Put him, and America, out of the misery of watching him make a bigger ass out of himself than he has made out of those who vote for him. Put him in the worst nursing home you can find in the Bronx. Let him have his fancy clothes and tape his lying mouth shut.

termite inspector said...

Get ready NY, King Andrew says the joke's on you, he is ending NY AG criminal investigations to be replaced with new ethics reform legislation from Silver, Sampson, and the other rats. Steal, perjure,take bribes,cheat on your taxes, because all you'll ever suffer is the indignity of a short Rangel style ethics circus performance, rather than sharing a meal with Brutus in a jail cell.

http://www.cityhallnews.com/newyork/article-1661-cuomo-hedges-on-signing-over-new-investigatory-powers-to-schneiderman-for-public-corruption-cases.html
Did you vote to make him King? Should you be allowed to vote?

Eliot Bernstein said...

Throw ALL the Bums Out! TRY THEM AND FRY THEM, then RICO & RECOVER their illgotten gains, every last penny from these PUBIC Servants who serve themselves at the detriment of all others. Where's HoldOff Holder, perhaps he has immunity, perhaps he will work out a Cuomo/Hevesi deal of plea to no time and keep all the stolen loot. Fox in the Henhouse holding hearing on the foxes, how apropro in Nazi America. This Country needs an entire Gov REBOOT, no FORMAT and REFRESH with new faces and stiff new CRIMINAL penalties for any PUBIC Servant found violating their oaths and PUBLIC OFFICES of TRUST. Minimum sentence 20-25 years, watch crime stop overnight in America and the government officials start acting like politicians, not like an Organized Criminal Enterprise
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Anonymous said...

Bernadette E. Lupinetti, Esq. is a pimp who has sold children in Orange County, New York to be sexually exploited. Now she is waiting to be admmitted in California to do the same garbage. She deserves the gas chamber, time to take this pimp down and expose her. The Media in California will know about your sex crimes against children in New York and every organization will know your name. DIRTY RAT

Anonymous said...

THE SYSTEM IS FIXED - CHARLEY IS A BROTHER WHO IS GETTING SCREWED - DON'T VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO SCREWED CHARLEY!

Anonymous said...

A brother says the white SOB's are treating Charley Rangel as if he were a NIGGER! I say black power!!!

Anonymous said...

They are screwing Charley Rangel but they would really like to hang him if they could get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eliot,
Did you ever think maybe someone doesn't want to fry those corrupt bastards, they been doing this stuff too long but they do not want it to happen to anyone else and the corrupt will pay whatever it takes to harm an innocent who wants to protect other innocents.....
so some are stuck in a system of absolute mudd!

Anonymous said...

selling off his villa in the Dominican Republic

Isn't that where our Senators held that meeting a few months ago, should have used Charlie's place!

Anonymous said...

doesn't this story and many others say they are probably all doing this shit, those we are supposed to hold to a higher standard, those that represent the People.......
so when is the law going to change so that they can represent the People and not pick and choose who they will prosecute!

Anonymous said...

A website is the making to expose by name and last name any and all Whore of the Court selling children in child custody cases. Pictures will be posted and looking to paper wall every single county. Details soon it is time to take them down in the name of National Security and the Safety of women and children.

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with these bunch of low lifes- some prostitutes of age are cheap, stop using children!
those children get to mature into adults embedded with the evil that was done to them.......
cheap, sick bastards!

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with these bunch of low lifes- some prostitutes of age are cheap, stop using children!
those children get to mature into adults embedded with the evil that was done to them.......
cheap, sick bastards!

Anonymous said...

charlie, charlie, charlie
Would have been cheaper to have some psych paperwork made up on you, can get you out of anything and it is much cheaper!

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Anonymous said...

Charlie Rangel must have really pissed off some powerful Jews.

Because that's the only way ANYONE gets convicted of violating "Ethics Rules."

Everyone knows that "Ethics Rules" are only for powerful positions (such as the FBI, Congress, Senate, Lawyers, Doctors, Intelligence Officials, Presidents) and are designed to be purposefully vague, non-specific, amorphous, grey, arbitrary, and impossible to crystallize or comprehend, elucidate, or follow.

They exist as the only mechanism that Jews who hate you, can remove you from your position of power.

You will notice that Jews dominate all Ethics Agencies, and have written pretty much every book on the subject.

No powerful person is free to make changes - if he pisses off the Jews.

The only way a powerful person can keep his position, is if he consistently supports Israeli/Jewish issues, positions, and concerns.

Period.

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2