Rep. Charles Rangel at ethics-violations trial

The ethics trial against Rep. Charles Rangel has had more drama than any episode of As the World Turns. It is now over, and the congressman from Harlem must await his fate as the ethics panel that heard evidence against him concludes the public portion of the trial. The ethics panel rejected Rangel’s request to delay the trial and forged ahead with its business, plowing through piles of evidence about Rangel's corruption case. Rangel walked out after his request to delay the trial was denied. The witness chair where Rangel was supposed to sit was empty, a sign of Rangel's refusal to participate. The special panel hearing the case decided to accept a motion stating that all the evidence presented by ethics-committee lawyers on Rangel's guilt was fact. Uh-oh. The panel then retired to deliberate in secret over Rangel's fate. Walking out may not have been a good thing to do. Was he trying to create a distraction from the real issues at hand, or legitimately standing up for himself? What do you think?

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