Charlie Rangel doesn't think he deserves censure, and he wants to ask the House to downgrade his punishment to a reprimand, sources tell the AP. Rangel's argument against censure is that he's not corrupt; none of his ethics violations involved personal financial gain. Censure, the harshest punishment other than expulsion, is usually meted out in cases of bribery, improper use of campaign funds or accepting of gifts, or sexual misconduct.
The ethics committee acknowledged that Rangel did not enrich himself, but noted that its decision to recommend censure was based on "the cumulative nature of the violations." A censure and a reprimand are similar, both involving a vote disapproving a member's conduct, but the reprimand stops at the vote. Censure requires the member to stand at the front of the chamber and listen to an oral rebuke. According to sources, Rangel will ask the ethics committee chair for time to plead his case on the floor of the House. Click here for more on Rangel's violations.