A House ethics subcommittee found Representative Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) guilty of 11 counts of corruption charges on Nov. 16.
According to USA Today, the eight-member committee concluded that Rangel, who has served his congressional district since 1971, violated House ethics rules by soliciting millions of dollars in donations, housing a campaign office in a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan, and failing to disclose assets and pay some taxes.
The case will now be brought to a full ethics committee, which will recommend a punishment for Rangel.
On Nov. 15, Rangel requested a delay for the hearing because he claimed he did not have enough time to hire a new legal team, but that motion was denied by the subcommittee. According to media reports, Rangel said that he wasn't being treated fairly and that he deserved to have a lawyer before the trial commenced.
After Rangel walked out of the proceedings, members of the subcommittee moved to a closed session and decided that the trial would continue without the congressman's presence. In a written statement, Rangel condemned the panel's decision to proceed and called it a violation of "the most basic rights … guaranteed to every person under the Constitution," quoted by CNN.