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Charlie Rangel Floor Speech: "I Am Not Going Away"

3:57 PM, Aug 10, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Looks like Charlie Rangel took the boss's advice.

Fox News reports:

New York Democrat Charles Rangel told his fellow lawmakers Tuesday in a rambling and defiant floor speech that he's not resigning, despite 13 charges of ethical wrongdoing.

"I am not going away," the former Ways and Means Committee chairman declared in a combative tone. "If I can't get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot in getting rid of me through expulsion."

Rangel, who is 80, spoke without notes in an extraordinary, often emotional 37-minute speech that defied his lawyers' advice to keep quiet about his case.

"You're not going to get me to resign to make you feel comfortable," he said, before offering a word of advice to his colleagues.

"Don't let this happen to you," he said. "Not all of you would be able to withstand it."

Expulsion is the harshest penalty that can result from an ethics case. It would be highly unlikely in Rangel's case because Rangel is not accused of corruption.

Rangel also pleaded with the ethics committee, saying he would like a trial before he dies."Don't leave me swinging in the wind."

Rangel responded to Obama's advice that Rangel end his political life with dignity.

Rangel said: 

For God's sake just don't believe that I don't have feelings that I don't have pride. I do want the dignity that the president has said.  And the dignity is that even if you see fit to cause me not to be able to come back 'cause your not going to be able to do it in my district. If there's some recommendation that I be expelled, for me--for me--that would be dignity. Because it shows openly that the system isn't working for me. And I hope some of you might think if it doesn't work for me then it may not work for you.

ABC has a clip of Rangel's speech; CSPAN has the full 31-minute video.

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