Maxine Waters rejects ethics violation, wants public trial


On Monday, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., in being charged with questionable conduct by the House of Representatives Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The charges were prompted by a report by the recently created Office of Congressional Ethics a watchdog group set up to monitor congressional behavior.

Waters is alleged, while George Bush was still president, to have set up a meeting with Treasury officials to assist OneUnited Bank, a minority-owned bank in which her husband owns stock and was a former board member. The bank later received $12 million in TARP bailout money arranged by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who heads the House Financial Services Committee. Waters is the committee's third-ranking member.

Waters plans to openly fight the charge. "In sum, the case against me has no merit," she said in a statement released in conjunction with the House ethics committee announcing it had finished its investigation into the matter," writes

According to The New York Times, a trial of two prominent Democrats on ethics charges would be precedent-setting. "The expected trial, coming just after the start of a similar proceeding on Thursday for Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, would be a modern-day precedent for the House, Congressional officials said. At no time in at least the last two decades have two sitting House members faced a public hearing detailing allegations against them."

Both Waters and Rangel have chosen to fight to clear their names publicly instead of making a deal with the committee for a mild reprimand.

Some argue that the two, both African American, are being unfairly targeted for activities routinely practiced in Washington.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus earlier in the year called for changing the rules governing the work of the Office of Congressional Ethics. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio introduced such legislation. Fudge called for restricting disclosure of investigations by the Office of Congressional Ethics and requiring it to "have a sworn complaint from a citizen with personal knowledge of alleged wrongdoing before initiating a probe."

The Cleveland congresswoman felt that leaks unduly taint those being investigated prior to the placing of charges. In the past "only members of Congress were allowed to initiate complaints," she said.

Fudge's resolution had 19 co-sponsors in the Congressional Black Caucus.

The New York Times editorialized against the proposed new law.

Commenting on the case over the weekend, President Obama said the allegations against Congressman Rangel were "troubling," indicating the Harlem representative wanted to end his career with dignity. Nobel Prize-winning economist and Times columnist Paul Krugman on ABC News termed the charges "minor" and wondered about the huge fuss made over them by the press. He compared the attention given to Rangel to the scant coverage given Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., also being investigated for corruption.

The White House has denied Obama is trying to encourage Rangel to leave office. Concerns do exist that public trials in Congress in September could damage Democrats chances later in the fall.

Both Waters and Rangel are veteran fighters and advocates.

Photo: Rep. Maxine Waters (


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  • You want to investigate. Investigate what does George Bush have to do with 911?

    Posted by Jo Ann, 11/20/2010 5:01pm (5 years ago)

  • MS WATERS AND MR R5ANGLE HAVE BEEN P U B L I C S E R V A N T S...... and must stand even taller now......and 'FIGHT'..

    Posted by j. h, 08/06/2010 5:56pm (6 years ago)

  • It's most unfortunate that the Republicans will stoop to whatever level to shame, harass and intimidate those who speak out. Yet the Democrats lack the political cojones to go after Bush, Cheney, etc.

    Wrong doing is wrong, but what Bush did by violating our Constitution, by violating international law, by lying to the world in order to justify invasion of Iraq... well that's as wrong as one can get. Yet the democrats won't go after him. Makes you wonder...

    Posted by Pancho Valdez, 08/06/2010 5:03pm (6 years ago)

  • No matter what she may have done, it pales when compared with the antics of the Republicans in the Congress. Talk about having no morals or ethics.

    Posted by Ronald Humphrey, 08/06/2010 6:26am (6 years ago)

  • Blackwater imperialism

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 08/03/2010 11:14pm (6 years ago)

  • A circus of atrocities is the Congress of the United States,from the obstructionists,reminiscent of the old "nullification and interposition" South of the Sixties and the Nazi worshiping Reaganites with John Birch supporters of the Eighties,the 21st century slickest want to paint a rosy picture of innocence and righteousness stained with the blood,manure and rottened stench of slavery,genocide,colonialism and militarist,"drill baby drill"capitalism and Clear Water imperialism. Defenders of democracy like congresswoman Maxine Waters,congressmen like the immortals John Lewis,and John Conyers are painted as liars,illegals,and bilkers,by whom? These very elements,themselves steeped in the corruption of the housing financial crisis,perennial military-industrial graft,perennial "intelligence"corruption and anti-democratic and treasonous activities against democratic and civilian government,charge the very defenders of democracy,including representative Rangel,with corruption and malfeasance.We need to push for the prosecution of the Wall Street executives,bankers and speculators,along with their transparent defenders in government, who bilked the economy and government to the tune of billions,only to continue" business as usual" with munificent bonuses and rewards-after the crisis they created,while the millions and millions of working people are yet crushed with hunger,disease and homelessness and hopelessness.
    Its time to draw lines in the sand and let democracy assert itself.
    We cannot go on with a rotten government,which persecutes the innocents and defenders, while giving executive privilege to the despoilers and violators of democracy. We must defend sister congresswoman Maxine Waters,she is one of us-her record proves this,exposing electoral inequality,criminal justice inequality,Wall Street/Main Street inequality,racial inequality,promoting unity among working people and their allies. We yet need her leadership which will help us out of the deep Wall Street financial and housing crisis,created by the same.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 08/03/2010 11:10pm (6 years ago)

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