Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rangel to Represent Himself at Ethics Trial?

You know what they say about the man who represents himself in court. We can only figure he's running low on money considering how much he's shelled out and he hasn't even put put on trial yet. This is slated to start in mid-November and conceivably could be delayed again, but what's the point? We're going to be in need of more entertainment once the fallout from the elections fades, so have at it, Chuckles.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will likely represent himself at his mid-November ethics trial, setting up a potential spectacle less than two weeks after what’s expected to be a disappointing — if not devastating — election for Democrats.

Rangel and his attorney, Leslie Berger Kiernan, and her legal team parted ways earlier this month, according to sources, leaving little time before the Nov. 15 trial for another lawyer to take the case and prepare.

It is unclear whether Rangel or Kiernan severed the attorney-client relationship, though Rangel had complained publicly about how much he was spending on legal bills. Neither Rangel’s office nor Kiernan returned a request for comment.

Some experts argue the ethics committee cannot afford the negative publicity of further delaying the trial to allow another attorney to prepare Rangel’s defense — and it could be that Rangel now wants to mount that defense himself.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) has sole authority to schedule the hearings. But Public Citizen’s Craig Holman said that such a delay is highly unlikely and that Lofgren is under no obligation to reschedule since Rangel failed to hire a replacement.

“Additional delays would reflect poorly on the committee itself and provide no benefit to either congressional caucus,” he said. “Delays would also lead to more public criticism that the ethics committee is not willing or capable to carry out its duties.”

The ethics committee in July charged Rangel with 13 violations of House ethics rules. He has maintained he is innocent of all the charges.
Maybe Maxine Waters could take his lead and also represent herself. The spectacle of seeing her call all her colleagues racist is too delicious to resist.

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