Charlie Rangel's War

  • Aired:  08/11/10
  •  | Views: 85,256

Charlie Rangel thinks an emergency session of Congress is the perfect time to give a 31-minute speech about his current ethics problems. (6:50)

SHOW.

CONGRESS IS, AS YOU KNOW, ON

RECESS ALL MONTH.

SO, SO NEEDED.

(LAUGHTER)

BUT YESTERDAY IT RECONVENED FOR

A SPECIAL EMERGENCY SESSION.

IT'S AMAZING.

THEY CAME BACK FOR A DAY DURING

THEIR SUMMER BREAK.

WHY?

>> WE'RE HERE TODAY TO EXTEND A

LIFELINE TO TEACHERS AND

CLASSROOMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

>> OUR LEGISLATION WILL SAVE OR

CREATE MORE THAN 310,000

AMERICAN JOBS.

>> SPECIFICALLY FOR TEACHERS,

POLICE OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS,

AND NURSES.

>> IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY-- AND

I THINK IT IS-- TO HELP OUR

LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS OUT,

WHAT ABOUT ME?

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: WAIT.

WHAT?

(LAUGHTER)

APPARENTLY REPRESENTATIVE

CHARLIE RANGEL, CURRENTLY UNDER

INVESTIGATION BY THE HOUSE

ETHICS COMMITTEE, FELT THAT AS

LONG AS HIS COLLEAGUES WERE

WORKING ON A VACATION DAY, THAT

MIGHT BE THE PERFECT TIME TO

GIVE A 31-MINUTE SPEECH ABOUT

HIS CURRENT ETHICS PROBLEMS.

>> I HAVE BEEN LOSING A LOT OF

SLEEP OVER THESE ALLEGATIONS.

>> Jon: REALLY?

(LAUGHTER)

YOU'VE BEEN LOSING SLEEP?

YOU KNOW, I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT

RANGEL HAS ENOUGH SLEEP STORED

UP FROM NAPPING AT THE DOMINICAN

VILLA HE ALLEGEDLY FAILED TO PAY

TAXES ON.

FOR GOD'S SAKE, THIS GUY IS LIKE

A SLEEP CAMEL.

HE STORES IT IN HIS OLD MAN

FRONT-BUTT.

(LAUGHTER)

LOOK AT THAT THING.

(LAUGHTER)

YOU KNOW, IT IS A VERY UNUSUAL

TACTIC, COMMANDEERING THE HOUSE

FLOOR LIKE THAT.

I GUESS SOMEONE TOLD RANGEL IT

WAS A GOOD IDEA.

>> WHY DID I TAKE THE FLOOR

TODAY?

I HAVEN'T FOUND ONE LAWYER THAT

SAID I SHOULD DO IT.

I HAVEN'T EVEN FOUND ONE FRIEND

THAT SAYS I SHOULD DO IT

(AUDIENCE REACTS).

>> Jon: (AS CHARMLY RANGEL)

THE CAB DRIVER ON THE WAY OVER

HERE SAID IT WAS POLITICALLY

INADVISABLE.

MY DOG THINK IT'S A TERRIBLE

IDEA.

I HAVE A MAGIC 8-BALL SAID

"SIGNS POINT TO NO."

SO I SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT?

SCREW IT!

I'LL DO IT!

(LAUGHTER).

>> Jon: ALL RIGHT, FAIR

ENOUGH.

SERIOUS CHARGES AGAINST RANGEL,

I'M SURE HE'S NOT GOING TO ROLL

THE DICE LIKE IF THIS IF HE DID

NOT HAVE A CLEAR AND CONCISE

EXPLANATION.

FOR INSTANCE, WHAT IS THE DEAL

WITH THE DOMINICAN VILLA?

>> WHEN ACCUSATIONS WERE MADE, I

HIRED A FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT AND

TOLD THEM TO CHECK OUT WHAT THE

HECK IS GOING ON, THAT IF YOU'D

DONE THE RIGHT THING YOU HAD NO

LIABILITY BECAUSE THE TAXES THAT

WERE PAID TO THE DOMINICAN

REPUBLIC WOULD HAVE BEEN

DEDUCTED WITH DEPRECIATION I

WOULD HAVE NO LIABILITY.

IT WASN'T AS THOUGH SOMEONE

TRACKED ME DOWN, THE I.R.S. OR

THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE.

I FILED THE CORRECT PAPERS.

HAVING SAID THAT, IS THAT AN

EXCUSE THAT'S WORTHY?

OF COURSE NOT!

>> Jon: WHAT?

NO, YOU HIRED AN ACCOUNTANT!

(LAUGHTER)

WHO SAID DOMINICAN VILLAS ARE

TAX-FREE!

(LAUGHTER)

YES, THAT REALLY ISN'T A WORTHY

EXCUSE.

(AS CHARLIE RANGEL)

DID I DRIVE MY MOTOR BOAT INTO A

MAN ON WATER SKIS?

OF COURSE.

(LAUGHTER)

BUT I HIRED A DOCTOR WHO TOLD ME

HE DIED FROM DROWNING SO I...

(LAUGHTER).

... DIDN'T DO ANYTHING.

>> Jon: ALL RIGHT, SO WHAT

ABOUT THE ACCUSATION THAT YOU

USED ONE OF YOUR FOUR

RENT-STABILIZED APARTMENTS FOR

BUSINESS PURPOSES?

>> NO ONE SAID THAT THE

APARTMENT THAT THEY CONSIDERED

TO HAD ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED

ONE.

AS YOUR COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND WAS

NOT SENSITIVE TO THE FACT THAT

THERE WAS APPEARANCES, THOUGH, I

WAS BEING TREATED DIFFERENTLY

THAN ANY ONE ELSE.

BUT THE LANDLORD SAID HE DIDN'T

TREAT ME ANY DIFFERENTLY.

NO ONE SAID THAT THEY DID TREAT

ME DIFFERENTLY.

AND SO THAT ENDS THE APARTMENT

THING.

BUT I LEAD GUILTY OF NOT BEING

SENSITIVE.

(LAUGHTER).

>> Jon: HE PLEADS GUILTY OF

NOT BEING SENSITIVE.

WE'RE NOT ACCUSING YOU OF NOT

CUDDLING WITH YOUR

RENT-STABILIZED APARTMENTS.

YOU'RE ACCUSED OF EXPLOITING

REPRESENT-STABILIZED APARTMENTS.

ARE THERE ALSO ALLEGATIONS ABOUT

USING CONGRESSIONAL LETTERHEAD

FOR RAISING MONEY WITH A

UNIVERSITY BUILDING WITH YOUR

NAME ON IT AND HELP THE YOU WERE

PROMISE AN OFFICE WITH THE SAME

BUILDING?

>> THE HASTE OF SENDING OUT

HUNDREDS OF LETTERS, NEVER

ASKING FOR A PENNY, THERE HAS TO

BE A PENALTY FOR GRABBING THE

WRONG STATIONERY AND NOT REALLY

DOING THE RIGHT THING.

THIS IS A BROKEN-DOWN BUILDING.

I MEAN, WHO IN THE HECK NEEDS AN

OFFICE WITH 40 YEARS OF SERVICE

IN THE CONGRESS IN A BROKEN-DOWN

BUILDING?

(AUDIENCE REACTS)

>> Jon: OKAY, THIS ONE I

UNDERSTAND, ACTUALLY.

YOU INCOMPETENTLY EXERTED YOUR

INFLUENCE IN EXCHANGE FOR A

BENEFIT YOU DIDN'T REALLY WANT?

(AS CHARLIE RANGEL)

I MEAN, SURE, THERE MAY HAVE

BEEN A QUID PRO QUO BUT THE QUID

WAS ACCIDENTAL AND THE QUO WAS

[NO AUDIO]

(LAUGHTER).

>> Jon: WELL, I GUESS THE

DEFENSE RESTS BUT BEFORE THE

DEFENSE REST IT HAS ONE LAST

INCREDIBLY PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE

MESSAGE.

>> I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO FEEL

EMBARRASSED, AWKWARD.

HEY, IF I WAS YOU, I MAY WANT

KNOW GO AWAY, TOO.

I DON'T REALLY THINK THAT THE

UNFAIRNESS OF THIS IS TO ME.

I DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.

I'M THINKING ABOUT ALL OF YOU.

SUPPOSE I DO GET EMOTIONAL?

SUPPOSE I DO THINK OF MY LIFE,

THE BEGINNING AND THE END?

I'M 80 YEARS OLD, I DON'T WANT

TO DIE BEFORE THE HEARING.

BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE, JUST DON'T

BELIEVE THAT I DON'T HAVE

FEELINGS, THAT I DON'T HAVE

PRIDE.

I MEAN, DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: I NEVER THOUGHT IN MY

LIFE THAT I WOULD SEE THE GUY

WHO SERVED IN HARLEM FOR 40

YEARS AS A CONGRESSMAN MORPH

INTO AN OLD JEWISH MAN.

(LAUGHTER)

BEFORE MY VERY EYES.

(AS OLD JEWISH MAN)

I DON'T... I MEAN... I DON'T

CARE WHAT YOU DO.

I'M GOING TO DIE SOON.

(LAUGHTER)

THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW WILL

YOU LIVE WITH

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