Waters ‘Eager’ for Ethics Trial to Get Under Way

Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:40am

Rep. Maxine Waters offered an aggressive public defense Friday on charges that she violated House rules, and she called for the House ethics committee to move quickly on her looming ethics trial.

“I am indeed eager to be able to have an opportunity to present my case, and that is why I have requested the standards committee schedule a hearing as soon as possible,” the California Democrat said at a press conference. “Unfortunately, the committee has not yet specified a date for a hearing on this matter, and given the Congressional schedule, it is possible that no hearing would be held for months, even after the November elections.”

Waters faces charges from a House ethics subcommittee that she violated the chamber’s rules over allegations her staff took active steps to secure federal support for a bank in which Waters and her husband held hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock.

“I know the way that the American people view the Congress. They hear the talk of partisanship, of power, of money, of influence. For Congressional critics, it’s easy to see a report of an ethics case and completely wash your hands of all of it,” Waters said. “But my constituents and supporters have seen the many inaccurate, accusatory portrayals of my work, and they know me better than that. And they’ve encouraged me to fight.”

In a formal response to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in July, Waters’ attorneys also argued the investigative panel applied a double standard to Waters, citing the ethics panel’s decision to dismiss charges against Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) last year.