Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel bailed out on his House ethics trial just as committee lawyers were preparing to call a parade of corporate bigwigs who would testify about his fund-raising tactics, new committee documents reveal.Pathetically, the disgraced Democrat is still pleading his case.
Lawyers were planning to challenge Rangel with a conga line of corporate officials who would testify about his pitches for multimillion-dollar contributions to the Rangel Center for public affairs at CCNY -- among them Donald Trump, Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg and Hank Greenberg, CEO of C.V. Starr & Co.
Ethics lawyers also planned to call top lobbyists for AIG, NY Life, and Verizon, according to an Oct. 22 letter from the committee to Rangel.
In the case of AIG, Edward Cloonan was expected to testify about "communications and meetings between AIG staff and Representative Rangel or his congressional staff regarding potential donations from AIG for the Rangel Center" to be built at CCNY.
NY Life lobbyist George Nichols, also on the list, was to offer testimony on "internal communications."
Rangel walked out on what was supposed to be his ethics trial last month, saying he couldn't get a fair shake without a lawyer. The committee then voted 9-1 to recommend he face a formal censure motion, something the House will vote on this week.