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Sources: Rangel Close To Deal


NEW YORK -- Congressman Charles Rangel is racing against the clock, trying to strike a deal by Thursday to avoid a potentially embarrassing trial on ethics violations.

The Harlem Democrat would have to admit to substantial ethics violations in order to avoid the public trial, but Rangel apparently hasn't yet received certain assurances in order to make it a done deal.

Sources say Rangel wants to say that while he may have made mistakes, he had no "intention" of doing anything wrong. Ethics Committee lawyers, meanwhile, want Rangel to admit to serious violations.Rep. Charlie Rangel

After addressing the Urban League Wednesday, Rangel avoided the subject when speaking with reporters.

"I'm waiting to get up on the hill," Rangel said. "We've got so much work to do."

Rangel did receive some support from Long Island Congressman Peter King in his bid to avoid a public trail.

"For him to go through the spectacle of a public an election season...he'd be abandoned by a lot of Democrats who are afraid for their own elections," King said, "I think it's best for the institution."

Because Rangel is such a skilled negotiator, he probably knows that he'll get a better deal if he holds out for as long as possible.

On that theory, he could reach a deal hours – or even minutes – before the hearings begin Thursday afternoon.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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