September 28th, 2010
05:03 PM ET
12 years ago

Republicans accuse Democratic ethics chairwoman of stalling Rangel and Waters trials

Washington (CNN) - In a highly unusual move, every Republican member of the House ethics committee issued a statement Tuesday blasting the Democratic chairwoman for "stalling" on making a decision on whether to hold trials for New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel and California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters before November's election.

"Members of the Committee have repeatedly expressed their willingness and desire to move forward with public trials of these matters and have repeatedly made themselves available to the Chairwoman for October settings. In past Congresses, Committee Members have returned to Washington during a recess in an effort to conclude pressing Ethics matters," said the statement, signed by ranking Republican Jo Bonner and the four other GOP lawmakers on the committee.

The committee - officially the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct - has investigated Rangel on allegations of multiple ethics violations, including failure to report income and financial assets, and using his influence to solicit donations for a policy center bearing his name.

Waters is accused of helping a bank in which her husband owned stock.

Both Rangel and Waters have called on the committee to hold their trails before November.

An aide to House Ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren told CNN that she is on a plane to Washington, returning from California, and will have a formal response later on Tuesday.

A senior Democratic aide familiar with the committee deliberations called the GOP move highly political, and flatly denied that Lofgren has refused to set a date for the trails, insisting to CNN that she has been trying to work with Republicans behind the scenes to come up with a mutually agreeable date.

The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to address the secret deliberations.

The evenly split ethics committee has a reputation for working in a bipartisan manner; it is rare for partisan differences to spill out into the open.

The Republicans say this statement was prompted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's comments on Sunday that scheduling the trials is "up to Jo Bonner and Zoe Lofgren."

Republicans called Hoyer's statement inaccurate, citing a committee rule that trials and meetings are "at the discretion of its Chair."

Aides to Rangel and Waters said they had no immediate comment.

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Bill, Bloomington Il

    Ethics is suddenly very hard for the party in power. No surprise here in Illinois since democrats have struggled with ethics for decades.

    September 28, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. todd

    one criminal covering for another, for this administration thats bussiness as usuall.

    September 28, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  3. Hugo

    If you drained that swamp, all you would find is swamp creatures, slugs and such, macro invertebrate saprophytes and parasites feeding off the blood and hard work of others. I would bet that when in November, not if, the GOP takes control of the House and dominates the Senate, these two scum bags will pay a very dear price. My hope is that the GOP is awake now and they give themselves an enema at the same time to rid our Government of these scumbags.

    September 28, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. Kate

    They should fire both these sleezeballs and make sure they get no benefits. How dare they cheat the american people who put them in office! But, that's the way the Dems work. It's ok for them to cheat, lie, steal etc, but let a Republican do something and CNN is bashing them all over! Obozo.....I love FOX News!

    September 28, 2010 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. rdepontb

    OMG!! Someone ELSE is playing politics in DC!!! What are the Republicans to do?? "Mother...?? MOTHER???? Help!?!"

    September 28, 2010 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What happened to that sleezeball Ensign? Ensign has told the Democrats and Republicans point blank he doesn't want to talk about his love affair with his staffers wife and his family paying him off as well as getting him a job as a lobbyist. What's up with that?

    September 28, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    Has the trials started? No you say? Then it is a stall tactic! It is that simple!

    September 28, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Dave

    If democrats only had been in the business of hiding their small corruptions it would have been great!
    They are busy spending trillions on big ones!

    September 28, 2010 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    That's the political happens every time they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    September 28, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. jim

    So what is Pelosi excuse now?Rangel and Waters ought to be in jail.

    September 28, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Albo58

    As usual, the Dimwits covering for their own thieves at the expense of the tapayers! Both Rangel and Waters should already be in jail now, but Miss Zoe was much too busy making a mockery of the Congress with her Colbert stunt...pure pathetic!

    September 28, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. ChumBucket

    Come on folks, no sense in saying this is a democrat or republican issue, both sides have thier dirty corrupt sleazy slimeballs in them, as I'm sure the democrats will point out, as soon as the republicans take over the house in november.

    And yes, this is a political manuver to not have the negitive publicity for the democrats, right before the elections.

    politics, plain and simple.

    September 28, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    Ah, a while ago both Waters and Rangel were demanding a 'speedy' process and both were denied. It was said a while ago that the process may not take place until after the elections. Now, all of a sudden the RepubliCAN'Ts want to use this to STIR up the pot and put even MORE news in the media against Democrats!!

    This is a non-Story and it's not going anywhere!!

    The real T'SAH from Virginia approves this message!!

    September 28, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    Is anyone really surprised by the party of corruption led by Nancy & Harry?

    September 28, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Dan

    Its a band of thieves, not just one or two. In the good old days thses people would have been shamed into resigning. What a brazen bunch of crooks

    September 28, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. rs

    Funny that the Republicans are suddenly interested in ethics after their 4 years of rank scandal. Also interesting that as a party representing nearly half of the citizens of the United States in Congress, that they complain about the pace of anything. All they have done for two years is block and delay. They have contributed nothing from a legislative point of view!

    September 28, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Dale

    While down here in Florida these yahoos are backing a Medicare crook gov. just because he's a repub. Are these also the same ones that sat on their hands as Bush and company lied to the entire nation?

    September 28, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Marge

    Hey if they are stalling these trials how about Ensign's he has had his illegal linvestigation going forth for two years and they still haven't come about.I mean all the proof is right there. But I suppose tho if you are a republican, the republicans demand you slip under the ropes, but if you are a Democrat any little thing they can make up about you should be looked into. What a BUNCH of creeps how in the world these straw brained idiots even made it this far is telling on the programmed electronic machines.

    September 28, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |