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Congress: Setting the stage for the Rangel trial

The New York Times: "In laying out 13 charges of ethical violations committed by Representative Charles B. Rangel, the House ethics committee set the stage for a rare public trial of the Democratic Congressman this fall, a potential embarrassment for the Democratic leadership during the election season."

The Washington Post says that Rangel hasn't yet cut a deal. "The unveiling of the latest allegations capped a frantic final 48 hours of negotiations between Rangel's attorneys and the ethics committee's nonpartisan lawyers, who continued talking into Thursday morning. His team appeared to be on the brink of a deal, in which Rangel would admit to at least some wrongdoing and the two sides would negotiate a punishment, avoiding the possible spectacle and humiliation of a public trial. But committee Republicans blamed Rangel's team when no such deal was reached, saying he and his attorneys had declined previous settlement entreaties and used delay tactics designed to stretch out the process."

"Rangel, who did not attend the hour-long meeting, fired back in a 32-page statement, claiming that ethics investigators overstepped their jurisdiction and trampled on his Constitutional rights," The Hill reports.

Roll Call adds, "At the same time Rep. Charlie Rangel (N.Y.) was charged with 13 counts of violating House rules and federal laws Thursday, a House ethics investigative subcommittee mocked the senior Democrat for making 'misleading' comments about its long-running investigation."

"Washed up!" is the New York Post's cover with the unflattering photo of Rangel sleeping on a chair poolside.

"The Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan won't hit the Senate floor until the second half of next week as part of a strategy to persuade Republicans to agree to a compact debate schedule or risk pushing back the August recess," The Hill notes.

"An Arizona lawmaker closed one of his district offices on Thursday after finding a window shattered and a bullet inside," The Hill reports. "Rep. Raúl Grijalva's (D-Ariz.) office said he shuttered his Yuma, Ariz., office this morning as authorities investigate the incident."

And in the Boston Globe's front-page centerpiece, John Kerry "insisted that he always intended to make the $500,000 payment once he had registered the boat in Massachusetts." Kerry said, "Our fault. I don't think I dealt with it fast enough, effectively enough. There's nobody to blame but myself for that." The Globe: "Kerry, during a 45-minute session with Globe reporters, repeatedly insisted that he never had any intention of permanently docking the yacht in Rhode Island to avoid paying taxes in Massachusetts… [H]e said he has not taken final ownership of the yacht because there were several changes still being made by a designer, whose team is based in Rhode Island. Thus, he said, he was not in a position to pay taxes in Massachusetts."