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UPDATE:  As of 10:23 a.m., session has resumed and Rangel is no where in sight.

Just finished watching the beginning of the Rangel Ethics Inquiry. The short of it is that after the first thirty minutes, Rangel removed himself from the hearing and the Ethics Inquiry went into closed session.

Rangel who (a) pushed for this inquiry; (b)  Rangel’s attorneys withdrew; and (c) representing himself this morning is now asking for time, due process and the right to obtain an attorney.

During Rangel’s opening remarks, he accused the Ethics Inquiry of rushing the hearing along thereby denying Rangel legal counsel and a right to due process.

The Congressman claimed that he only received the summary judgment a week ago and has not had a chance to hire an attorney to review his case.  He further stated that he has been denied the right to review 30,000 pages of testimony and witnesses.

Rangel went on to suggest that he remove himself from the trial stating that after his “50 years of public service” he is entitled to an attorney, all the time it will take to clear his name and due process.

Rangel also laid claim to the fact money is a problem.  Apparently, Rangel is looking for the opportunity to obtain donations toward legal counsel.

The Ethics Inquiry is presently in recess.