Rangel says he needs lawyer, walks out of trial

Starved of his plea for a holdup, Rep. Charles Rangel walked out of his ethics trial Monday, leaving the ethics committee's top lawyer to cite Rangel's past statement in arguing that the 20-term New York Democrat desecrated House rules.

Chief House principles counsel Blake Chisam, assuming the role of prosecutor at the rare public airing of in-House issue, played a video of a Rangel speech on the House floor in August. Rangel, ex- chairman of the Ways and Means group, acknowledged in that appearance that he'd used House stationery to raise money for a college center named following him.

New York Rangel also said in the August language that he had been tardy in filing taxes and financial revelation statements, other than that he had no intention of breaking any rules.

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