He did, momentarily, break from his policy to explain why he wasn't talking — disputing an earlier claim by his attorney Lanny Davis that he was remaining mum on advice of counsel.
"Nobody's told me to not to talk," he said, suddenly spying the grinning, white-haired California Republican.
"It's in my interest to go with my good friend Jerry Lewis now," he said, bounding toward the elevator.
Lewis, of course, has been a favorite target of Democrats for his involvement in earmarks controversies and was subject of a federal probe into his relationship with lobbyist Bill Lowery. And some Hill Democrats want Rangel to step aside so — you guessed it — they can focus their energies on attacking Lewis and Alaska Rep. Don Young.