Rangel and expulsion

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Six years and two days ago, the House of Representatives expelled Rep. James Traficant after he was found guilty of racketeering and bribery. Rep. Charlie Rangel may not have been found guilty of crimes in a court of law, but on Thursday the House Ethics Committee will charge Rangel with a series of ethics violations that could lead to his removal from the congressional seat that he has held since 1972.

As Brian Beutler covers in a piece for TPM, there is little doubt that without striking a deal the ethics committee will charge Rangel and, owing to both the severity of some of the charges and political pressure in a tough election year, could very well vote to expel Rangel from Congress.

Expulsion from Congress is incredibly rare. Only two members who were not members of the Confederate states have been expelled from the House. Those being Michael Myers in 1980 for his part in the Abscam scandal and Traficant.

If you want a taste of what a full trial looks like on the floor of the House, check out the video below. Watch from 11:17:56 to 11:27:16:

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  • that’s such an extraordinary video.

    hard to follow Traficant’s speech; almost stream of consciousness.

  • That is true, Soren. Interestingly enough, Charlie Rangel was ACP’s successor. Rangel beat Powell in a primary by attacking Powell’s ethics. Irony.

  • Soren Dayton

    While technically not the same thing, Adam Clayton Powell wasn’t seated by the 90th Congress because of ethical concerns.