House ethics committee hires outside counsel for Waters case

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WASHINGTON—The House ethics committee has named Washington lawyer Billy Martin as an outside counsel to investigate California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.

The announcement Wednesday follows months of conflict in the committee over handling of the case.

The committee last year alleged that Waters improperly tried to obtain a federal bailout for a bank where her husband owns stock. Waters, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee has denied wrongdoing.

Waters last year demanded that the committee go ahead with a trial on the allegations. This week, however, she asked for dismissal of the case. Her attorney cited internal committee documents that showed two committee lawyers communicated solely with Republicans.

The lawyer, Stanley Brand, said a fair trial is now impossible.