Pelosi: I Didn't Ask Rangel To Quit
"What do you mean Charlie Rangel is a crook he made a simple mistake and it's not his fault !"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't asking embattled Charlie Rangel to step down as chairman of the Ways and Means committee and the 78-year-old Harlem Democrat isn't offering to quit - amid a firestorm over a series of apparent ethical lapses.
Rangel walked into tonight's pivotal meeting with House leadership with "no intention" of quitting his post, according to people close to him - although they conceded he might be asked to take one for the party.
"He's not going into there with the sense that he's going to go," said a person close to the 76-year-old Harlem Democrat. "But who know's what's going to happen once he gets in there."
When Pelosi emerged from the meeting she refused to speak with reporters but shook her head no when asked if she asked him to step aside.
Rangel, who has admitted he failed to report investment income from condos in the Dominican Republican and Florida, breezed by reporters staking out his meeting with Pelosi, Majority Whip James Clyburn and other party leaders.
"At this point in time, I'm not able to answer any questions, so don't be offended," the Harlem Democrat said.
He's scheduled to address a closed-door meeting of Ways and Means members afterward, at around 6:30 p.m, a move some staffers interpreted as a possible clue he'd step down.
So far, Rangel has rebuffed calls from the GOP leadership -- and the New York Times -- to step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, perhaps as a temporary move until a House ethics probe is completed.