Brutal day for a tearful Charlie Rangel: The House ethics committee took the rare step of recommending that he get the most serious punishment short of expulsion—censure, reports AP. The matter now goes to the full House. Rangel's appeal for a "drop of fairness or mercy" didn't sway committee members. "I don't know how much longer I have to live," he said. "I just want you when you decide on the sanctions that you put in that report that Charles Rangel never sought any personal gain."
The panel, however, followed the advice of its chief counsel, who said Rangel "brought discredit" on the House with his ethics violations. Only four members have been censured in the committee's 43-year history, notes the Hill. If the House approves, Rangel would have to stand in the well of the House and listen to a formal rebuke from the speaker. Click here for more, including Republican Joe Bonner's forceful opening statement that set the day's tone. (Read more Charles Rangel stories.)