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Rangel Makes an Exit from his Ethics Trial

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Congressman Charles Rangel appears before House Panel
azipaybarah, flickr

Harlem Representative, Charles Rangel, makes an exit from his ethics trial after asking for more time to find a lawyer.

Harlem Democrat, Charles Rangel walked out of his ethics trial after pleading for more time to find a lawyer.

But that's not stopping the House Panel from proceeding with the hearing.

According to Fordham Law School Professor, James A. Cohen, the show must go on: "The hearing won't be stopped. And I think it's sort of a testament to the likely fact that he has no defense to this."

And for a man who thrives on media attention, Rangel's withdrawal seems to be strategic.

As Cohen explains, "I think it's sort of he's stepping away, what are his other alternatives? It's a compared-to-what situation, and I think he's probably exercised good judgment in stepping away."

Members of the House Panel are using video of Rangel's past statements to weigh the 13 counts of ethical misconduct against him. If any charges are upheld, the entire ethics committee will convene to decide upon a sanction.

Congressman Charles Rangel faces 13 counts of financial and fundraising misconduct, including accepting favors and using a rent-subsidized apartment as a campaign office.

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