This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, so after insisting that he would not step down from his position as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Charlie Rangel finally threw in the towel this morning. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE RANGEL, D-N.Y.: In order to avoid my colleagues having to defend me during their elections, I have this morning sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, asking her to grant me a leave of absence, until such time as the ethics committee completes its work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Oddly, Rangel has found no shortage of Democrats willing to defend his ethical fiber. Chief among them House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had this to say about the findings of the House Ethics Committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: All I saw was the press release where they said that he did not violate the rules of the House. And I think that's an important statement that they made. But they did not take action against him. They just said he did not willfully break the rules.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And joining me now with reaction to the latest Democratic corruption scandal is the author of number one "New York Times" best- seller, "Culture of Corruption." Michelle Malkin is back with us.
What happened to drain the swamp? What happened to the most ethical Congress ever?
MICHELLE MALKIN, "THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION" AUTHOR: Well, Nancy Pelosi, with her mop and her clean-up attitude, didn't drain the swamp. She over flooded it. And now, as I've said the culture of corruption chickens are coming home to roost.
I think that this is a damning indictment, not just of Charlie Rangel, and the arrogance and the hubris with which he has clung bitterly to his seat and to his gavel, as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, but it is as much a damning indictment of Speaker Pelosi and the hypocrisy with which she has ruled, with her gavel as House speaker.
Downplaying these violations and remember this is just the tip of the iceberg. The issue here that he was so weakly admonished for by the House Ethics Committee which involved corporate sponsorships on a junket in the Caribbean is the tip of the iceberg, as I say.
He's got all of these lapses with his financial disclosure forms. There's a rent controlled apartments in New York City. There's the use of official stationary to try and solicit funds for a public policy school in New York that's named after him. It goes on and on and on.
Those issues still have to be resolved. And yet here we have Nancy Pelosi shrugging it off because technically he didn't violate anything and after all, as she said a couple of days ago, it's not like he endangered national security.
MALKIN: She actually said that, Sean.
HANNITY: No, she actually said that and she had a very different take when she had comments about Tom DeLay.
What's — the story gets more interesting now because you've got Rangel's successor, a guy by the name of Congressman Pete Stark, who himself has been investigated for ethics violations.
He's had a number of bizarre outbursts in 2007. He actually said that, you know, Americans are being sent to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.
He said at another time to a reporter, get the blank out of here or I'll throw you out a window. So this is the next guy in line to take over the powerful House Ways and Means Committee?
MALKIN: Yes, it does tell you something about these bizarro, swamp creatures that this is the only person that Pelosi has to elevate her crony from California. I don't just call him Pete Stark, he's Pete Stark-raving mad.
He is infamous on YouTube for going after his own constituents who dared to question him over the summer over the health care takeover. He has used foul language on the House floor, not just against former President Bush who he accused of being amused over the deaths of Iraqis during war.
But also language that he used against his fellow colleagues. And then of course his own ethics scandal, as you mentioned.
MALKIN: Regarding a house that he claimed deductions for, apparently, in Maryland. And then he went and cussed the people who were investigating that as well.
Now this guy will be wielding the gavel? It really is time to drain the swamp and that time is coming soon.
HANNITY: All right, remember how big an issue the Mark Foley case was leading into the 2006 elections? Politico reported earlier today that this guy, one-term congressman, Eric Massa, also from New York.
I don't know what's in the water in New York these days. But according to several House aides on both sides of the aisle, you know, this guy is married with two kids, who's being accused — he's denying it — but being accused of sexually harassing a male staffer.
Now do you remember the outrage then? So how big an issue — I guess is my question — how big an issue is corruption now going to be as we head into these midterms? You think it's going to matter?
MALKIN: I think it's going to be one of the key issues in 2010 and 2012. I think the “culture of corruption” epithet that Pelosi and Dean used against the Republicans in the midterms is coming to boomerang and bite the Democrats right back in their back side.
And the fact that there were 39 Democrats who refused to stand by Charlie Rangel and inviting the wrath of the congressional black caucus, which of course is going to play the race card as they always have done in defending Charlie Rangel over the years.
It tells you something. It tells you that they are scared out of their minds, as they should be. They don't want to taint on them.
HANNITY: All right, last question.
MALKIN: And it's about time.
HANNITY: All right. Last question. Is it going to be the Republicans and the Democrats that get the wrath of voters, or is this mostly about the Democrats and Obama's agenda?
MALKIN: Well, this is the ruling majority. They're responsible. They're accountable, and the people will hold them accountable for it.
HANNITY: All right. Michelle Malkin, always appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.
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