Why, yes, this story can get more fun.

Rep. Charles Rangel’s chances of cutting an ethics deal are in jeopardy over allegations that he met privately with Ethics Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) Monday night without any Republican members of the bipartisan panel present.

Lofgren says she hasn’t spoken to Rangel since last Thursday, and sources close to Rangel deny that there was an attempt to cut a backroom deal with Lofgren. But Rangel’s attorneys met with Democratic ethics committee staff Monday, according to people close to the investigation.

It’s unclear whether Lofgren and Rangel themselves attended this meeting, but even if Democratic aides and lawyers met without their GOP counterparts present, that could cause problems with Republicans…

At least one Republican on the committee would have to agree to a deal — an outcome that would be next to impossible if Republican lawmakers believe they were cut out of any part of the “bipartisan” ethics process.

Still not fun enough? How about if we add even more ethical violations to the mix? I’m honestly amazed that he hasn’t settled the case yet. Even if he survives the trial with nothing more than a reprimand, his party’s damaged and the primary challenge he’s facing from Adam Clayton Powell Jr’s son will be that much stronger. Anyone else would just say what they have to say to make it go away, but luckily for us, this guy’s an egomaniac even by congressional standards.

At last check his team’s still meeting with committee lawyers in hopes of hammering out a plea, but they’re insisting that he admit to “multiple, substantial ethics violations” and a Man Of His Stature simply can’t do that — yet. Expect him to cave by tomorrow afternoon. Exit quotation: “I wish there was no Thursday but the situation being what it is, it’s one step at a time. So compared to being lynched, I’d rather go through Thursday.”

Tags: Republicans