Waters demands immediate ethics trial

Chris Moody Contributor
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Standing in front of the committee room where her postponed hearing was to be held this morning, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who has been accused of providing aid to a bank her husband had a financial stake in, demanded a trial for alleged ethics violations before the end of the year.

“My message to the committee is simple: schedule my hearing before the end of the session or tell me, my constituents, and the American public the real reason for this delay,” she said. “There is no legal, rules-based or common sense reason to delay this hearing any longer. I want this issue resolved immediately.”

The ethics panel claims that Sidney Williams, who is married to Waters, had a financial stake in OneUnited bank during the time Waters helped arrange a meeting between bank officials and the Treasury Department. The bank received millions in bailout money in 2008.

The House Ethics Committee, which will try Waters, decided earlier this month to postpone the Nov. 29th date of the hearing, citing new evidence that would require additional time to review.

Waters called the reasoning for postponing the trial “unacceptable” and insisted that it “defies common logic.”

“The Ethics Committee had ample time to prepare their case against me,” she said.  “As I stated just 10 days ago, I believe this cancellation demonstrates in no uncertain terms the weakness of their case against me.”

Waters’ call for a speedy hearing comes on the heels of another ethics trial for House Democrat, New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, who was convicted of 11 counts of breaking House ethics rules and will be censured by the House.

The House ethics committee has yet to set a definite trial date for Waters. The 11-term member of Congress denies she broke any rules.

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