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Rangel Scrambling to Make Deal on Ethics Charges

Embattled Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel was meeting with the head of the House ethics committee and other top Democrats amid rumors he may try to work out a deal rather than face a full vetting of the charges he is now facing.

A settlement would mean Rangel must admit he committed some ethical misconduct.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday that "everyone would like for the Rangle issue to go away" and that the ethics process with Rangel is not a pleasant one.

Ethics committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren has been preparing to launch a rare, public ethics inquiry on Thursday into alleged misdeeds by the New York Democrat.

Lofgren will chair an "adjudicatory subcommittee" that will present its case against Rangel. An investigative panel reported last week that it had found ethics violations by Rangel.

For nearly two years, the ethics committee has probed Rangel on a host of issues, ranging from tax evasion to improper use of Congressional stationery to raise money for a school of public affairs in the Congressman's name at City College of New York.

Rangel met with Lofgren on Monday night and sought closed-door counsel from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a special assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

"I think he's in the process of trying to determine the best course forward," said Van Hollen. "I was presenting him with my observations."