Maxine Waters Ethics Probe May Have Been Tainted

Leaked documents cite internal mishandling of the case against the California lawmaker.

Posted: 07/18/2011 12:27 PM EDT
Maxine Waters

Rep. Maxine Waters is tired of the ethics cloud hanging over her head and may have been handed a way to get the case against her dismissed. A House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she improperly used her position to seek bailout funds for a bank in which her husband holds shares and on whose board he sat has been stalled since last November, when the panel put it on hold due to new evidence. But within days of the announcement, it suspended the top two attorneys working on the case.

 

According to a report in Politico, the two attorneys, Morgon Kim and Stacy Sovereign, are alleged to have improperly shared information with Republicans on the committee regarding Waters’ case and a case against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) in an effort to hurt the two Black lawmakers. The move “would have so tainted the proceedings that there would have been no option but to move to dismiss,” reads one of the hundreds of documents leaked to the publication that paint a picture of a panel that was dysfunctional and bitterly partisan.

 

Waters, who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, will likely use those documents to prove her argument that the probe against her should be dropped entirely.

 

“I have long since lost faith in the committee’s ability to be fair and transparent," Waters told Politico after learning about the documents. “If true, these accusations fly in the face of objectivity and should concern every member of the House. Even more troubling is the committee’s refusal of my and numerous ethics watchdogs’ requests to investigate their own misconduct. Given what appears to be politically motivated and gross misconduct by the committee, the committee must immediately conclude this seemingly manufactured case.”

(Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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