The scheduled Nov. 15 start of Rep. Charles Rangel's ethics trial is in jeopardy, because the former Ways and Means Committee chairman no longer has a defense team.
The New York Democrat and lawyers for the Washington firm of Zuckerman Spaeder have parted company, according to people inside and outside Congress familiar with the breakup. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
The chairman of the House ethics committee, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, has not said whether the trial date she set is still valid. The committee has charged Rangel with 13 counts of ethical wrongdoing, primarily involving his fundraising and finances.