Fox has obtained a letter written by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to his supporters. In the missive, Rangel reiterates what he told the Ethics Committee last week, apologizing to the House and his colleagues.
He also seizes on a line by Ethics Committee Counsel Blake Chisam, who said he saw "no evidence of corruption," despite recommending censure for Rangel.
In addition, Rangel says that "Thursday was one of the most difficult days of my life since I was left for dead in North Korea, sixty years ago. In the end, I hope that you would judge me on my entire record as a soldier and a dedicated public servant -- not only by my mistakes."
Entire letter below.
"I see no evidence of corruption," said Blake Chisam, the top ethics committee lawyer, about Rangel. Chisam's statement was in response to questioning by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.). Butterfield is serving on the eight-member panel hearing the Rangel case."Do I believe that based on the record that Congressman Rangel took steps to benefit himself based on his position in Congress? No. I believe that the congressman, quite frankly, was overzealous in many of the things he did. And sloppy in his personal finances."
On Thursday I stood before the Ethics Committee who recommended that I receive censure for violating the House rules. I apologize for the embarrassment I have brought upon you.
I truly believe public officials have a higher responsibility than most Americans to obey the rules because we write them. There is no excuse for my acts of omission. All of this has been brought upon me as a result of my own mistakes.
There has never been any corruption or personal gain in my actions, as the Committee's chief counsel noted. Neither has there been any intent on my part to violate the House rules.
Even the Committee concluded: "Although prior Committee precedent for recommendation of censure involved many cases of direct financial gain, this Committee's recommendation for censure is based on the cumulative nature of the violations and not any direct financial personal gain."
However, the final decision on sanctions for violations of the House rules will be made by the full House of Representatives.
Thursday was one of the most difficult days of my life since I was left for dead in North Korea, sixty years ago. In the end, I hope that you would judge me on my entire record as a soldier and a dedicated public servant -- not only by my mistakes.
For fifty years in public service, I have had the honor to work with many of you to defend the disadvantaged and the voiceless. My commitment to you, our cause and to our country remains as strong as it ever has been.
Thank you for your friendship and support.
Charles B. Rangel
Member of Congress