By LAURIE KELLMAN (AP) – 20 minutes ago
WASHINGTON — Calls for Rep. Charlie Rangel's resignation rained down on Capitol Hill late Friday from House Democrats who said more than a dozen ethics charges against the 20-term lawmaker showed a disregard for the rules and undermined the public's confidence in Congress.
The calls came as Democrats headed home for their monthlong recess wrestling with how to handle the tax and disclosure charges against Rangel back in their districts as election season loomed. Republicans, meanwhile, raced ahead with plans to make Rangel the face of corrupt Washington under the rule of Democrats who had vowed to clean up Congress.
For his part, Rangel met with perhaps his staunchest supporters, members of the New York state delegation, in the stately Capitol parlor named for the Ways and Means Committee that he headed until March.
"He indicated there was some sloppiness" in his official papers, Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., told reporters, "but, you know, there's no criminality here."
House rules and credibility — not criminality — were the reasons cited by more than a half dozen House Democrats known to have called for Rangel's resignation by late afternoon Friday.