And you thought Winston was Bad

Found this via twitter.

Rangel sauntered into the hearing room – a chamber much less grand than his former Ways & Means lair – wearing a striped tie as loud as the TV test pattern. Rangel smiled as if arriving at a cocktail reception, then stood at attention at the defense table until the committee members walked in, five minutes later.

An aside: the “Ways & Means” committee chair (which Rangel was) is an extremely powerful position. He essentially controls the expenditure of the entire US government. Alistair Cooke once quoted advice given to one chair who had decided to run for president: “You actually want to be president and give up all that power?

After opening statements, Lofgren asked Rangel, alone at the defense table, if he was represented by counsel. The 80-year-old lawmaker interpreted this as an invitation to make a speech. He delivered a lengthy complaint about the process and a reaffirmation of his innocence. After several minutes of this, the chairwoman interrupted. “Mr. Rangel?”

“If the chair is suggesting that I conclude my remarks,” Rangel said – Lofgren nodded her agreement – “then I would do that.” But not before he made another statement, this one invoking his wartime service and his work for the New York state legislature in the 1960s.

The prosecutor attempted to enter his 549 exhibits into the record. “Is there objection?” Lofgren asked.

Rangel took this as a cue to make another lengthy speech. Lofgren eventually interrupted. “Mr. Rangel, if you could be seated,” she requested.

He was of course found guilty.

Of course, he took it true to form.

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