Watchdog groups expect the upcoming ethics trials for Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to take place after the November election to avoid political fallout.
“I think ethics hearings shortly before the midterm elections overly politicizes the ethics process, which in the long term, is not in anyone’s interest,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The ethics committee, according to its rules, must turn over all evidence it plans to present in a trial to the member charged at least 15 days before the beginning of the trial. Even if the panel handed over their evidence to Rangel and Waters when they return this week, the trial could not begin until the beginning of October, one month before the general election and when members plan to be home to campaign.
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