Rangel tries to avoid public airing of his dirty laundry 

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, the scandal-tainted former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has apparently cut a deal with the House Ethics Committee not to air his dirty laundry in public because it could further damage the Democratic Party during a tough mid-term election.

The House trial of Rangel on formal charges of tax evasion, improper use of rent-controlled apartments in New York, and violations of House rules on corporate-funded travel and fundraising was supposed to start at 1 p.m., but CNN reports that Rangel has apparently cut a deal and won’t be attending today’s hearing.

New York station WCBS also reports that Rangel’s attorneys may have offered some admission of guilt to avoid a public trial. Rangel resigned from his chairmanship in March after being reprimanded by the bipartisan ethics panel.

“I am pleased that, at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media,” Rangel said in a statement released July 22.

But now it looks like the cloud has rolled back and the public will not be allowed to watch the 40-year Capitol Hill veteran account for his actions after all. With public trust in Congress at record lows, a cover-up will not reassure Americans that Democrats were telling the truth when they promised to “drain the swamp.”

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