Dec. 20, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
Download CQ Roll Call's Definitive Guide to the 114th Congress | Sign Up for Roll Call Newsletters | Get the Latest on the Roll Call App

Ethics Panel Denies Democrats' Request for Maxine Waters Case Findings

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

The House Ethics Committee today rejected a request from a group of House Democrats that it release the findings of the special counsel who concluded the committee had not violated the rights of Rep. Maxine Waters as it prepared its case against the California Democrat.

The letter from all 10 Members who considered the special counsel Billy Martins findings a group that includes six alternates and does not overlap with the group that handled the Waters investigation said the committees letter to Waters earlier this week addressed her concerns and it was wrong to assume that a report exists that could be released.

It is simply incorrect to assume that Mr. Martin issued a report in this matter. He did not, the letter said. By Committee rule, Committee proceedings are confidential. This includes the work of all staff including outside counsel in providing advice to the Committee.

The letter was signed by acting Ethics Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), acting ranking member John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Republican Reps. Mike Simpson (Idaho), Steven LaTourette (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Tim Griffin (Ark.) and Democratic Reps. John Sarbanes (Md.), Donna Edwards (Md.) and Joe Courtney (Conn.) as well as Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico).

The back-and-forth correspondence began after the committee announced earlier this week that it had unanimously concurred that Waters due process rights werent violated by the committees members and staffers during the buildup to a rare public ethics trial that was scheduled for November 2010 but canceled just days before it was set to begin.

The announcement was accompanied by a detailed letter to Waters that addressed the claims she had made regarding the committees actions.

Sixty-nine House Democrats on Thursday requested that the committee release Martins findings.

The Waters case began when the independent Office of Congressional Ethics asked the committee to review whether it was a conflict of interest for Waters to ask Treasury Department officials to meet with the National Bankers Association to discuss a bank in which her husband had a financial stake.

Following the cancellation of the trial, documents surfaced that showed that the committees former staff director believed that the behavior of committee staffers may have compromised the investigation. Waters called for the committee to drop its case, saying her rights to a fair ethics process had been violated.

The committee in July of last year brought on Martin to review Waters charges. He was first tasked with reviewing the behavior of committee members and staffers before deciding whether its case against her could go forward.

The announcement earlier this week opened the door for the committees case to proceed.

comments powered by Disqus

SIGN IN




OR

SUBSCRIBE

Want Roll Call on your doorstep?