*MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert got a dressing down from embattled New York congressman Charles Rangel Thursday during an impromptu Q&A about his alleged ethics violations.
The House Ethics Committee announced yesterday it will hold a formal hearing on alleged violations by Rep. Rangel, who was forced to step aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year over ethics questions.
The committee disclosed Thursday that Rangel is being charged with multiple violations. The specific charges won’t be revealed until next Thursday at a public meeting. However, several persons familiar with the allegations, who were not authorized to discuss them publicly, told the AP that some of the charges against Rangel were related to:
• Rangel’s use of official stationery to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York. • His use of four rent-subsidized apartment units in New York City. The city’s rent stabilization program is supposed to apply to one’s primary residence. One had been used as a campaign office, raising a separate question of whether the rent break was an improper gift. • Rangel’s failure to report income as required on his annual financial disclosure forms.
Rep. Rangel, who has spent half of his 80 years as a member of Congress, says he looks forward to fighting ethics charges in a trial.
After attending President Obama’s signing of the extension of unemployment benefits, Rangel was cornered by a gaggle of reporters – including Luke Russert, the budding journalist son of the late “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert.
Luke asked Rangel: “Do you ever worry about losing your job?”
Rangel snapped back, “What are you talking about? You just trying to make copy? What job? The one I’ve got? How do you think I got my job? I was elected….”
Rangel went on to express how dumb Russert’s question was, then, asked him what network he worked for. When Luke answered NBC and MSNBC, Rangel said, “It just shows what has really happened to a channel that did have some respect.”
Watch the full Russert/Rangel exchange below, followed by his full Q&A session with reporters.