WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., told House members Tuesday he is not asking for leniency on ethics charges and he is "not going away."
Rangel, 80, a 20-term congressman who led the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee until earlier this year, dared members to expel him in a rambling 30-minute speech on the House floor.
He said he was not guilty of ethics violations and complained about the 13 charges the ethics committee had filed against him, The Hill said. A deal under which Rangel would have accepted a reprimand and continued to serve fell apart last month. He faces a Sept. 14 Democratic primary in New York.
"I'm not asking for leniency, I'm asking for exposure of the facts," Rangel said. "If I can't get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot at getting me expelled. I am not going away. I am here."