A number of Democrats have returned money raised by Rangel and a few called on him to resign. Hogwever, Monday night the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Democrat Barbara Lee of California, warned her party members against rushing to judgment.

The message was: Don’t pressure Rangel. However, that wouldn’t prevent the 40-year House veteran, who is 80 years old, from deciding on his own to negotiate a plea bargain.