By Jennifer Glickel
MANHATTAN — The five Republican members of the House Ethics Committee on Tuesday called upon the group's chairwoman to schedule Harlem Rep. Charlie Rangel's ethics hearings before the Nov. 2 elections.
The letter, which was sent to the committee's Chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), said that conducting Rangel's hearings before Election Day is in "the best interest of transparency and fairness to the American people."
The statement, issued by Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) and signed by his four Republican colleagues on the bipartisan committee, accused the Democratic chairwoman of stalling on setting a date for Rangel's public trial on 13 ethics violations. The letter also called for hearings in the case of California Democrat Maxine Waters to take place next month.
"The Chairwoman has repeatedly refused to set either the Rangel or Waters trial before the November election," the letter read.
"While we regret that the Committee has not worked together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the transparent and fair resolution of these matters to date, we look forward to working with the Chairwoman in a bipartisan manner to accomplish this."
Rangel was officially charged with 13 violations in July for allegedly failing to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic, keeping multiple rent-stabilized apartments and conducting improper fundraising, among others.