From the AP:
New York Democrat Charles Rangel made a last-minute effort Tuesday to settle his ethics case and prevent a House trial that could embarrass him and damage the Democratic Party.
The talks between Rangel's lawyer and the House ethics committee's nonpartisan attorneys were confirmed by ethics Chairman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. Lofgren said she is not involved in the talks, and added that the committee's lawmakers have always accepted the professional staff's recommendations in previous plea bargains.
Rangel, a 40-year House veteran who is 80 years old, would have to admit to multiple, substantial ethics violations for any plea bargain to be accepted. Earlier negotiations broke down when Rangel would only admit to some allegations — not enough to satisfy the committee lawyers, according to people familiar with those talks who were not authorized to be quoted by name.
If the talks are not successful, trial proceedings for the Harlem congressman would begin Thursday with a reading of alleged ethics violations that are still confidential.
Now, tell me if you can: why exactly should Charlie Rangel get to choose whether or not evidence of his dirty deeds get to remain confidential? Would you get that choice if you'd been indicted for (oh, I don't know) tax fraud and then copped a plea? Hell, no--all the evidence against you would be a matter of public record. Why should Rangel get to hide his own sins just to prevent embarrassment--or to limit the damage to the Democratic Party in the midterms?
Personally, I hope old Corrupt Charlie fights to his last nickel here--and after four decades of handing out favors, he has a whole hell of a lot of nickels. I remember how much damage Rangel's predecessor, old Dirty Dan Rostenkowski did in 1994, and it'd be a shame if yet another corrupt Ways And Means Chairman got off with a wrist-slap--and a coverup.