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Rangel Walks Out of Ethics Hearing (Updated)

1:34 PM, Nov 15, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The Hill reports on New York Democrat Charlie Rangel's ethics hearing in the House, which began today:

A House ethics panel is continuing with the public trial of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) despite Rangel's decision to walk out of the hearing.

The adjudicatory subcommittee charged with weighing the case for 13 counts of ethics violations announced its decision after considering a request by Rangel to delay the trial because he lacked counsel. Rangel said he could not afford to hire attorneys right away after incurring nearly $2 million in legal fees over the past two years.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, offered a motion to continue the trial after Rangel opened his remarks by pleading for a delay and complaining about the unfairness of proceeding with the trial while he lacks counsel.

Ethics committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said it is Rangel's "right not to participate in this matter, as mentioned earlier."

"No conclusion as to the facts of this matter can be drawn by the fact that Rep. Rangel has chosen not to participate in this hearing," Lofgren said.

UPDATE: Here's video of today's event:

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