By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Senior Editor
MANHATTAN — Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel’s ethics trial won’t begin until after the midterm elections, the House ethics committee announced yesterday.
Rangel’s trial to determine whether he violated House ethics rules by accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean and using his office to do fundraising for personal gain, including raising money for a City University of New York center named after him, among other allegations, will take place on Nov. 15 — shortly after election day Nov. 2.
House ethics panel chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) rejected a push by Republican members to push up the date of the trial, and lashed out at members for publicizing their request that the hearing be held before the mid-term elections, violating the confidentiality of the negotiations.
Democrats have been divided over whether to urge Rangel to step aside to make room for a non-controversial candidate, or embrace the veteran politician’s apparent grassroots support in the Harlem community.
Even President Barack Obama waded into the controversy, telling CBS in July that he believed Rangel was "at the end of his career."
But Rangel soundly beat his opponents for September’s primary election, coming out with 50 percent of the vote, silencing some of his former detractors.