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Congress: Rangel's ethics hearing

Roll Call: “Barring a last-minute settlement agreement over allegations that Rep. Charlie Rangel violated House rules, a special ethics panel will meet Thursday to set the stage for a rare ethics trial.”

AP: "The four Democrats and four Republicans acting as judges are holding their organizational meeting for an ethics trial that many Democrats hope will go away. That could only happen if Rangel negotiates a plea bargain, admitting to substantial violations, or resigns. Punishment could range from a report criticizing his conduct to a reprimand or censure by the House, or a vote to expel him -- which is highly unlikely."

"'He feels, I think very strongly, that he has not done anything that was wrong,' said a Democratic member of the House in Rangel's camp," per the New York Post. "The supporter said Rangel was drawing a line in the sand on the matter of his solicitations of big-bucks contributions from corporations for the Charles Rangel Center for Public Affairs at CCNY -- a story The Post first broke in 2007."

The New York Daily News says Rangel "dragged out negotiations ... to the bitter end ... leaving many Democratic colleagues irate." Apparently, "he was still trying to find a way last night to admit he did wrong, without saying he did it on purpose, sources said."