WASHINGTON — To rebut a lengthy list of alleged ethical misdeeds, Rep. Charles Rangel is trotting out this three-way defense: I didn't do it. I did it, but was inattentive. Others lawmakers were allowed to do the same thing without penalty.
It's an approach that nervous Democrats are watching closely in one of the most politically explosive cases in years.
Should it go to a public trial this fall, smack in the middle of the election season, and should his defense fall short, that won't help Democratic candidates forced to defend their party's ethics against Republican campaign attacks.
3 murderers escape from Arizona prison
PHOENIX — Police were using helicopters and dogs Saturday to search for three convicted murderers who escaped from a northwest Arizona prison, kidnapped two semi-truck drivers at gunpoint and used the big rig to flee.
Department of Corrections spokesman Barrett Marson said the men escaped Friday evening by cutting a hole through a perimeter fence at the medium-security Arizona State Prison in Golden Valley, about 90 miles southeast of Las Vegas. They should be considered especially dangerous because of the nature of their convictions, he said.
The group left the drivers, unharmed in the truck at a stop just off Interstate 40 and then fled in an unknown direction, Flagstaff police Sgt. James Jackson said.
Officials identified the escapees as Tracy Province, 42, who was serving a life sentence for murder and robbery; Daniel Renwick, 36, serving 22 years for second-degree murder; and John McCluskey, 45, serving 15 years for second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm.