Rep. Maxine Waters To Face Ethics Trial

Updated with Waters' response.

Rep. Maxine Waters, a 10-term Democrat who represents south L.A., will face a House ethics trial this fall. The investigation has centered around Waters setting up a meeting between OneUnited Bank, where her husband had been on the board and still had significant investments, and Treasury officials, in the hopes of getting the bank some TARP bailout money.

Rep. Charlie Rangel will also face an ethics trial this fall. Politico, always observant, notices that they have something in common.

The question of whether black lawmakers are now being singled out for scrutiny has been simmering throughout the 111th Congress, with the Office of Congressional Ethics a focal point of the concerns. At one point earlier this year, all eight lawmakers under formal investigation by the House ethics committee, including Rangel and Waters, were black Democrats.

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Quite a coincidence.

The trial is expected to start in September.

Update: Waters responds in a press release:

I have not violated any House rules.

Therefore, I simply will not be forced to admit to something I did not do and instead have chosen to respond to charges made by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in a public hearing.

Starting with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) report released today, the record will clearly show that in advocating on behalf of minority banks neither my office nor I benefited in any way, engaged in improper action or influenced anyone. Additionally, the OCE acknowledges that I have fully disclosed my assets as required by House rules, even going above and beyond the requirements by disclosing my assets at several Financial Services Committee hearings. In sum, the case against me has no merit.


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