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Charlie Rangel sues House of Representatives to overturn censure

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FILE - In this June 7, 2012 file photo, Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill. When the results are counted this Tuesday, Americans are poised to resoundingly rehire roughly 350 of the 535 members of the House and Senate despite railing for months about an ineffective, bitterly divided legislature. The once-in-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts is one of the main reasons why so many lawmakers will return to Washington _ and the first election after that politically driven process is typically a high point _ but redistricting isn t the only reason. The power of incumbency with its name recognition and cash advantage also is responsible. Credit: AP

As you might recall, New York Congressman Charles Rangel stepped down from his position chairing the powerful House Ways and Means Committee after facing multiple allegations of ethics violations and failures to comply with U.S. tax laws. After an investigation, the House Ethics Committee found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of violating House ethics rules and in December 2010, the full House of Representatives approved a sanction of censure against him.

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. (AP)

Despite avoiding criminal charges for his nefarious deals, Rangel is hitting back, suing several of his fellow lawmakers for "numerous, flagrant, knowing and intentional violations" of his due process rights.

Rangel, 82, seeks to overturn the censure and says in the court papers that he suffers "irreparable harm that cannot be compensated by money damages."

Rangel's office referred questions to his attorney, Jay Goldberg, who did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The lawsuit names Boehner; Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who was chairwoman of the House ethics committee at the time of the censure; and other committee members and staff. The congressman alleges that evidence was withheld by the committee staff.

The lawsuit doesn't allege any wrongdoing by Boehner. Democrats controlled the chamber and the ethics panel at the time of Rangel's censure. In the complaint, Rangel named Boehner as a defendant because he says it would be up to Boehner to purge the censure from the Congressional Record.

Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath.

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