Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), whose ethics hearing was scheduled to begin today before the House ethics committee postponed it indefinitely, delivered a statement in front of the room where the hearing would have taken place. As she has over the past several months, she excoriated the committee.
Waters called the panel’s reason for delaying the hearing — that new evidence could change the case — “nothing more than an excuse.”
“I have been denied basic due process,” she said. “This type of behavior, lack of decency and professional decorum would not be accepted in a court of law, and it should not be accepted in the United States House of Representatives, the body responsible for making the laws.”
She demanded that a hearing be re-scheduled before the end of the year, or that the committee explain the “real reason” for the delay.
Waters is accused of improperly helping a bank in which her husband held stock secure TARP funding during the financial crisis. Waters has maintained her innocence, insisting that she was helping an association of minority- and women-owned banks, rather than an individual bank with ties to her family.
The hearing was scheduled to begin today. But two weeks ago, the committee announced that it has new evidence and sent the matter back to an investigatory subcommittee, setting back the process several months. The new evidence is a series of emails that show Waters’ staff discussing legislative language in the bank bailout bill with staff from the House Financial Services Committee.
It’s unclear what would happen if the matter isn’t resolved by the end of this Congress in December.
The House ethics committee this month found Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) guilty of 11 violations and recommended he be censured. The full House must vote on whether to censure Rangel.