Waters to ask House to investigate ethics committee
December 7th, 2010
09:53 AM ET
12 years ago

Waters to ask House to investigate ethics committee

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, will offer a "privileged resolution" as early as today calling on the House to investigate the ethics committee for its handling of her case.

Waters' hearing before the Committee on Standards and Official Conduct was scheduled to begin last month, but the committee announced before Thanksgiving that the proceeding had been canceled due to the discovery of email communications that would potentially affect the case. The committee also suspended two staff lawyers working on the case.

It did not indicate whether or when the matter would be revisited.

Waters' draft resolution asks the House to create a bipartisan task force to probe "the circumstances and cause of the decision" by the committee to place the staff lawyers on administrative leave. It also requests that the task force report its findings and recommendations to the House by the end of the current Congress.

Under House rules, once this type of resolution is offered, the House has two legislative days to vote on it.

After her hearing was postponed, Waters said she was denied "basic due process" and the decision not to move forward with her trial as planned "demonstrated in no uncertain terms the weakness of their case against me."

Waters, a 20-year congresswoman and senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, is alleged to have sought federal assistance for OneUnited Bank, a minority-owned bank in which her husband held a financial interest.

The California congresswoman has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and has repeatedly demanded a conclusion to the almost year-and-a-half-long investigation.

Read a draft of the resolution obtained by CNN:

"Authorizing and directing the Speaker to appoint a bipartisan task force to investigate the circumstances and cause of the decision to place professional staff of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct on indefinite administrative leave, and for other purposes."

Whereas, On November 19, 2010 two members of the professional staff of the committee on standards and official conduct were placed on indefinite administrative leave

Whereas, on November 19th 2010 the committee on standards and official conduct canceled and has not rescheduled the adjudicatory hearing for a Member of Congress, previously scheduled for November 29th 2010

Whereas such a delay violates a Members due process rights and the rules of the committee

Whereas all of these actions have subjected the committee to public ridicule, produced contempt for the ethics process, created the public perception that the committee's purpose was to unjustly impugn the integrity of a Member of the House, and weakened the ability of the committee to properly conduct its investigative duties, all of which has brought discredit to the House; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That-

(1) the Speaker shall appoint a bipartisan task force with equal representation of the majority and minority parties to investigate the circumstances and cause of the decision to place professional staff of
the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct on indefinite administrative leave and to make recommendations to restore public confidence in the ethics process, including disciplinary measures for both staff and Members where needed; and

(2) the task force report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives during the second session of this Congress

–CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report

Filed under: Congress • Maxine Waters
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Tim

    Let's offer a deal. Everyone resign and we'll call it a day.

    December 7, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Bill

    Comrad Waters .... Please .... You blew it ... accept the decision of the party .... come back to the fold.

    December 7, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. GI Joe

    All of those people that get paid more than $150 K per year to WORK – just keep their faces in the limielght and stir up more trouble than is necessary. From years ago with Gingrich, to two years ago (and counting) Palin, now to this woman.


    December 7, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. thor

    What about the due process for the American people that have to pay for these investigations?And in the end none of these Congressmen or women get nothing more than a slap on the wrist.When we elect people to Congress,nowdays, we are giving them a get out of jail free card along with all the other perks they receive.

    December 7, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Rsprings

    Well, they say the best defense is a good offense. The ethics committee seems to have botched this a bit. However, Waters is not a shining example of integrity. Being from California I have followed antics even beofre her election to Congress. The voters in her district seem to like her but she is an idiot. The real problem is folks get to Congress and onc there seem to do things in their self interest, enriching themselves while pretending to represent the people. We need term limits on these folks. Do you think the founders had a reason for setting 2 year terms for the House and 6 years for the Senate. The President can only serve two terms. They wanted to prevent a ruling political class.

    December 7, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Meh, nothing to see here. The corporatists are just trying to discredit her because of recent legislation she's sponsored that actually helps poor people at the expense of the forces behind the rapidly privatizing public housing sector. I guarantee you that the charges are trumped up and they're counting on the "investigation" to make her look bad. Keep up the good fight, Maxine (not that our corporate masters will ever let you win). Have a nice day!

    December 7, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. phoenix86

    Just a few more days until the Nancy Pelosi cesspool is washed away.

    December 7, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Lucas Breen

    Whether she is guilty or not, it is unfair for her not to have a chance to get the charges addressed in a timely way.

    December 7, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. blake

    Another corrupt member of the House that just doesn't get it. Resign!

    December 7, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. stufit

    Please get this flaming democrat liberal out of our lives and as far away from the government (other than custody) as possible. She is if nothing else guilty of being the stupidest person to ever serve in Congress and there have been many, many absolute idiots.

    December 7, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Unit34Hunter

    Wow. That's not arrogant or anything, Representative Waters.

    December 7, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Bill in CA.

    Just more delaying tactics...she is good at that...probably the ONLY thing she is good at.

    December 7, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. JohnM

    The inept crooks vs the incompetent crooks.

    December 7, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Brian

    It's not my fault for doing it, it's the ethics committee's fault for caring

    December 7, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. WhatUTalkin'BoutWillis

    Funny how this ethics committee that was originally created by the Democrats was found to have ethics issues within themselves and then once discovered by the Republicans, actions were made to clean it up...lol. So according to a good amount of passionate Dems I know, they say that the Repubs are dirty...it looks as if the Dems now have egg on their face.

    December 7, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. Josh

    Shame on you CNN, for not mentioning the Pearl Harbor anniversary. Shame, shame.

    December 7, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Big_D

    Now we get a little quiet trial when they expose they went after her for not agreeing with the way TARP funds were given to just the large banks. Billionaires wouldn’t have had bonuses with American people getting the funds.

    December 7, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |