Embattled Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel asked for a postponement of his Ethics Committee hearing moments after it began, arguing that the trial should be delayed until he is able to retain a lawyer.
“I object to the proceeding,” Rangel told the adjucatory subcommittee. “With all due respect, since I don’t have counsel to advise me, I’m going to have to excuse myself from these proceedings.”
Rangel said that he does not have a lawyer because his campaign account has been depleted.
“I love this country and I love this Congress,” Rangel told the House Committee.
Rangel complained that Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the committee, did not allow him time to raise money since she wanted the matter wrapped up before the new Congress is seated in January.
“My reputation of 50 years of public service has to suffer because this committee has concluded that it has to conclude this matter before the session ends,” he said.
The committee adjourned to consider Rangel’s request.