Congressman Charlie Rangel defended himself publicly yet again today, delivering a press conference from New York City the morning after his 80th birthday party.
Rangel criticized the press during his speech, stating that he's available for TV appearances and complaining that his defense isn't being reported. In lieu of that reporting, Rangel urged interested people to visit CharlieRangel.org to hear his side of the story.
"For those people that are just biting at the bit that say, 'What is he talking about, defense?'...let me inform you there's two sides to it. There's the alleged violations, and then there's the Rangel defense," Rangel said.
"Get someone to go to CharlieRangel.org. That's me saying what you're not reporting, but that's--I have no control over."
As he publicly defended himself against the 13 ethics charges lodged against him, both at today's news conference and in Friday's speech on the floor of the House, Rangel has mainly called for a fair process and demanded a chance to publicly cleared his name, focusing on the process instead of specific responses to the allegations, though he did offer some more pointed responses during the half-hour House speech.
The front page of CharlieRangel.org doesn't have much in the way of a defense: it contains two supportive newspaper columns about the ethics charges. Tucked away in the "news & achievements" section, the site contains more columns in his defense, and, under the "press releases" section on that page, it offers more defense-related materials: a .pdf document of his 32-page response to the ethics committee's charges, along with a brief summation that references his 40 years of public service, states that he promoted the educational center after he donated his papers to it, calls the ethics charges "flawed," and states that "The undisputed evidence in the record--assembled by the Investigative Subcommittee over its nearly two-year investigation--is that Congressman Rangel did not dispense any political favors, that he did not intentionally violate any law, rule or regulation, and that he did not misuse his public office for private gain."
A greeting page offers a link to his House website, which also contains his response to the committee plus a video of his floor speech.