Just Hours after the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Artur Davis, called for him to relinquish his gavel as the powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel was reported to have done so after a closed door meeting of the House Leadership. Andrea Mitchell, Luke Russert, and Chuck Todd were all tweeting that Charlie Rangel had given up the ghost and his gavel. The Politico is reporting that he told them he had not and that Speaker Pelosi had no comment after the meeting. Rangel is currently under investigation for omitting millions of dollars from his taxes and personal financial disclosure statements filed with the House of Representatives. The committee he chairs ironically has jursidiction over the U.S. tax code.
ADDENDUM: Rangel gave up his gavel this morning. He announced at a morning presser that he wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for a leave of absence, which is shorthand for saying “I was forced to step aside against my will but agreed to give the House Democratic Leadership political cover for the good of the party.”