Ethics Panel members meet to discuss schedule for Rangel, Waters

Fox has learned that members of the House Ethics Committee and the various subcommittees which probed Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) for alleged transgressions are meeting behind closed doors in the basement of the Capitol to discuss a trial schedule for the two lawmakers.

Both Rangel and Waters declined to accept potential punishment that ethics investigators wanted to mete out back in July. Instead, the duo opted for separate "trials" in an effort to clear their names.

There is consternation among Ethics members as they have repeatedly failed to come to an agreement as to when the trials should be held. There was speculation last week that a trial schedule would be released. But members couldn't settle on a timeline.

Rangel told Fox News, "It's unfair for them not to do it before the election." He added that he hoped to hear something about a schedule by the end of the week.

A source familiar with the investigation indicates to Fox that it's unlikely that either trial could take place before the November election.

Ethics trials are very rare in the House. The last one triggered the expulsion of former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH) in 2002. The one prior to that sanctioned former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) in 1997.