Lawyers for House Democrat Charles Rangel say a deal has been reached with representatives of a bi-partisan ethics committee looking into a series of charges against him -- yet Republicans on the panel say it might be too late
The committee of four Democrats and four Republicans met for the first time Thursday, but have not agreed to the settlement yet.
"Mr. Rangel was given multiple opportunities to settle this matter. Instead, he chose to move forward to the public trial phase," said Rep. Jo Bonner, the senior Republican on the ethics panel.
Rangel faces 13 charges of ethics violations, although it's unclear how many of the charges the veteran congressman will agree to in the deal.
"Sixty years ago I survived a Chinese attack in North Korea and as a result, I wrote a book that having survived that, that I haven't had a bad day since," Rangel said before the ethics panel met Thursday. "Today I have to reassess that statement."
Rangel's charges include not reporting income to failing to pay taxes on his rental properties in the Dominican Republic If the lawmakers do not agree to the plea deal their lawyers put in place, a trial will likely begin in September.
Rangel's punishment could be as harsh as expulsion from the House.