Rep. Charlie Rangel has reportedly reached a deal on ethics charges that will avoid a public trial that could have hurt his party ahead of the fall elections.
WCBS TV in New York reported that Harlem friends of Rangel said a deal had been struck, and details of the deal could be unveiled when the ethics panel meets as scheduled at 1 p.m.
The network reported Rangel will admit to wrongdoing as part of the deal.
The House ethics panel is meeting ahead of a scheduled organizational session for Rangel’s ethics trial. Rep. Jo Bonner (Ala.), the panel’s ranking Republican, said he didn’t know if there was a deal as he entered the meeting, and declined further comment.
Minutes before the WCBS report, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended her caucus’s record on ethics. She said Democrats had implemented “the toughest ethics reform in a generation” when they took over the House in 2006.
At the same time, she said her pledge to “drain the swamp” did not mean individual ethical lapses by Democrats would not occur under her watch.
“Drain the swamp we did as this was a terrible place,” Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing. “We made a tremendous difference, and I take great pride in that.