…is planning two trials of long-time House members:
The expected trial [of Democrat Maxine Waters of California], coming just after the start of a similar proceeding on Thursday for Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, would be a modern-day precedent for the House, Congressional officials said. At no time in at least the last two decades have two sitting House members faced a public hearing detailing allegations against them.
It would also be an embarrassment for the Congressional Black Caucus. Ms. Waters and Mr. Rangel are two of its most revered and long-standing members, and both have spent decades as key leaders in banking and financial services issues in the House.
Power corrupts—if not inevitably, then certainly often. Both Waters and Rangel are claiming innocence, of course, and it’s possible that they actually are. But somehow I suspect not. And President Obama isn’t waiting for a trial, at least in Rangel’s case—it’s under the bus with him:
“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well. But these allegations are very troubling,” Obama said on the “CBS Evening News” in his first comments on the Rangel scandal.
“He’s somebody who’s at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I’m sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity. And my hope is that it happens.”
Looking at that quote again I’d like to revise my remarks; maybe it’s not so much that Obama is throwing him under the bus as asking him to crawl there himself. Neither Rangel nor Waters seems inclined to do so; they are both choosing (at least so far) to fight the charges.