The House ethics committee is probing why the House Financial Services Committee failed to fully comply with its promise to turn over all documents related to an investigation of subcommittee chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Washington Post reports.
After wrapping up their ethics investigation of Waters this summer and preparing for trial in October, the investigators learned about an e-mail that they considered important to their examination of Waters’s efforts to help a troubled bank tied to her husband.
Four officials, congressional staff members, and others familiar with the probe confirmed on Thursday that her trial was postponed two weeks ago in part to explore the delay in not turning over that e-mail and to examine whether other evidence was withheld.
The newspaper also reported that committee members are “concerned that the Waters investigative team did not have access to all the records, in part because they did not press for them diligently enough. Others on the staff have expressed concern that evidence may have been inappropriately withheld.”
Barney Frank, chairman of the committee, said on Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of the concerns about the documents.
“When I received the Ethics Committee’s 2009 request, I instructed my staff to turn over every document in personal office and committee files. I have every reason to believe they did that,” Frank told the newspaper.
The House ethics committee is under intense scrutiny itself following the dismissal of two lawyers who worked on the case against Waters. The California Democrat has questioned the integrity of the committee and its investigation.
Documents related to the investigation of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), who was censured on the floor of the House last night, did not appear to indicate that the two suspended lawyers — Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign — worked on the Rangel case.
[Ed. note: this post was edited after publication.]