Rep. Charles Rangel is heading into a Nov. 15 ethics trial with no lawyers, little money and a risky strategy that may turn his trial into a political showdown, rather than a legal face-off, according to sources close to the New York Democrat.
It’s not even clear if the ethics trial will start on time. Rangel has asked for a delay in the proceedings, but the ethics committee — with members off running their own reelection campaigns — has not publicly ruled on the request.
One source close to the case said it “could take months” for a new legal team to “pick up the threads of the case,” although there is no indication that the ethics panel would agree to a lengthy delay in the proceedings. Rangel parted ways with his law firm earlier this month.