Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., is doing some last-minute bargaining in attempts to settle his ethics case.
It could help the veteran House member avoid an embarrassing ethics trial, scheduled to start Thursday.
House Ethics Committee Chairman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., told The Associated Press that secret talks are being held between Rangel's attorney and the staff of the committee.
Rangel's fellow Democrats have been distancing themselves from him in recent days. Some have returned campaign money raised by Rangel and a few have called on him to resign. The ranking congressman faces tax-related violations that have not been disclosed yet.
Rangel had vowed to fight the charges, but a settlement would mean he must agree that he committed some kind of misconduct.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday, "I think everybody would like to have it go away in the sense that this is not a pleasant process."