(CNN) - The House Ethics Committee will hold a formal hearing on alleged violations by Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat forced to step aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year over ethics questions, a senior Democratic source told CNN on Thursday.
The panel has been looking at several alleged ethical violations involving Rangel. A formal hearing will be a trial-like session involving
formal charges with lawyers for the House acting as prosecutors and Rangel's lawyers defending him.
There was no immediate information available on the exact charges Rangel faces, or when the formal hearing will begin.
In comments to reporters, Rangel said he welcomed the news and wanted to testify in his defense.
"It gives me an opportunity to respond to my friends and constituents who have supported me for 40 years," Rangel said. "All I've been able to give them is 'trust me.' "
Now, he said, the facts will come out.
Rangel temporarily stepped down as Ways and Means chairman following the announcement of an ethics investigation of several allegations, including failure to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic
The congressman has also admitted a failure to report several hundred thousand dollars in assets on federal disclosure forms.
In addition, he is under scrutiny for the purported misuse of a rent-controlled apartment for political purposes, as well as for allegedly
preserving tax benefits for an oil-drilling company in exchange for donations to a project he supported at the City College of New York.
The House ethics committee previously admonished Rangel for violating rules on receiving gifts. Specifically, the committee found that Rangel violated House gift rules by accepting reimbursement payments for travel to conferences in the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008.
Rangel, who has served 20 consecutive terms in the House, has several challengers in the Democratic primary for the November mid-term congressional election.
The system has failed Charles Rengel. He said recently that he has lost confidence in the Republican Party. He said all he wants to do is serve his constituents and his country. This is not his fault. He is a victim of racism and partisan politics. No one appreciates all the sacrifices he has made in devoting his life to public service, when he could have made far more money in the private sector. I say, give this man a medal.
We all know why t his is happening, right? George W. Bush.
Of all people, I can't believe a rich POLITICIAN would do something like this. As the E#Trade Baby once said, "Let me show you something. It's my 'shocked' face... WHAAAAAAT?"
Another crooked democrat under Pelosi is going down. Ain't it cool!
It's about time! Now the rest of the country just has to hope that his constituents realize he does not belong in office!! I don't consider this a sure thing!