This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, August 27, 2001.
In the Personal Story segment tonight, a new poll by The Modesto Bee says that only 27 percent of Congressman Condit's constituents would vote for him again. Yet Condit refuses to resign, despite being one of the most despised individuals in the country right now. On Fox News Sunday, Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel said it is not the responsibility of Congress to run Condit out of office.
Mr. Rangel joins us now. What about the House Ethics Committee? I mean, is this a joke, a total waste of time or what?
REP CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: No, but you have to have something concrete to take to them. Bob Barr, Republican from Georgia, has initiated charges against Condit. But publicly, he doesn't say what those charges are. So you can't say he's a weasel or he's untrustworthy or he was unfaithful to his wife. You got to have something concrete.
O'REILLY: Is lying in a criminal investigation enough? Is that enough?
RANGEL: If you're under oath, of course it is. It's perjury.
O'REILLY: No, no, no. Not under oath. But you know, the cops say, and I believe the cops and I think you do, too, that in the first and second interviews, he wouldn't tell them about the affair. He just wouldn't tell them. First he had denied it and then he clammed up. Is that enough?
RANGEL: I would think not.
RANGEL: Especially, the police chief is running around saying the guy is not a suspect.
O'REILLY: Well, wait a minute now. If you, Charles Rangel are on the House Ethics Committee, and you're not, and evidence comes in that a congressman lied to the police in a missing person's/perhaps murder investigation, that's not enough to get him out of there?
RANGEL: If the police chief says that you lied and he's willing to come forward, but who's mumbling more than the police chief of the District of Columbia?
O'REILLY: All right, so if the police chief would stand up and say, "This guy impeded the investigation...
RANGEL: Of course, that's enough.
O'REILLY: That's enough to get him out?
RANGEL: Well, it's enough to take to the Ethics Committee. They can either expel him.
RANGEL: They could censure him.
O'REILLY: Now the committee can't expel him. You guys have to vote on that, right?
RANGEL: We have to vote.
RANGEL: But they can recommend these things. We vote on everything. And we don't have to take their recommendation.
RANGEL: But he can be censured, he could be expelled, or he could just be admonished.
O'REILLY: So all it's taken now is for the police chief of D.C. to basically come into the Ethics Committee and say, "Hey, look, this guy didn't cooperate with us at all." That's what's needed?
RANGEL: He can go beyond that. He could say that in his opinion, it looks like a crime may have been committed and subpoena Condit, his staff, and anyone else that's related to what he believes to be a crime. Then you deal with the question of perjury. Not just some television.
O'REILLY: Well, what if he -- he's going to take the Fifth amendment, I believe. You know, what if he takes the Fifth? Is that enough to boot him?
RANGEL: You know, you don't just kick people out of Congress. There's a process. You mentioned what's happening back home in this district. He could be reapportionment out, he could have a primary, he could be defeated by a Republican. But we don't take very easily the fact that if we got a process on how you get elected, you just can't get annoyed with someone and just kick them out.
O'REILLY: You boot them out. All right, no look, I understand that. But here, it's reached critical mass. I mean, this guy is a horrible guy, no matter whether he did it or not, he's a terrible example. You heard the counselor mention the word "shame." He's shameless. I mean, he just doesn't have any.
Wouldn't you say that most, decent human beings would have resigned right now with all the stuff that we know about him? Not conjecture. Stuff that we know, wouldn't you say most people would've resigned?
RANGEL: I wish you could share with me what you know for a fact.
O'REILLY: I know for a fact that he lied to Mrs. Levy. That's enough to get a congressman to resign.
RANGEL: You don't know that.
O'REILLY: Yes, I do. That's what Mrs. Levy says.
RANGEL: But that doesn't necessarily mean it's a fact. We are so carried away with our dislike. First of all, I think it's the sympathy for the family, the fact that a young lady was missing, the fact that someone we believe...
O'REILLY: All right, let...
RANGEL: ...unfaithful to his wife. But you cannot think of one thing that you know...
O'REILLY: Congressman, here look.
RANGEL: ...as a fact. Not one thing.
O'REILLY: Let me give you one. I'm giving you a fact here, OK? Mrs. Levy has a conversation with this guy. Her husband's in earshot. She asked him point blank, "Were you having an affair with my daughter?" This is according to the Levys. He says no. OK?
Then he says no to the first investigation of the cops. Then he says to Connie Chung he won't answer the question. That's enough for me. See, I got it now.
RANGEL: Oh, cut it out. That's not enough for you.
O'REILLY: It's not enough for you?
RANGEL: Enough to start an investigation. It's enough to bring him in. But he is saying that the Levys...
O'REILLY: You've got the Levys, the cops and Connie Chung and it's still not enough?
RANGEL: He is saying that they misunderstood him.
O'REILLY: Misunderstood him? Where do we get -- you see, your -- I understand what you're doing. You're giving him the benefit, the benefit, the benefit, but you got to draw the line somewhere.
RANGEL: Hey, come on. That's the constitution. It's not me. I mean, we can't afford the luxury just to say we dislike somebody. And so therefore, we boot him out. It's wrong.
O'REILLY: All right. Let the audience decide. Congressman, as always, thank you for coming in.
RANGEL: Good to be back.
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