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Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Laura Richardson under investigation by House Ethics Committee

Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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Two southern California congresswomen are under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct voted to investigate allegations that Congresswoman Maxine Waters used her political clout for personal gain. The Democrat from Los Angeles arranged a meeting with Treasury officials on behalf of a trade association representing minority banks. Waters and her husband owned stock in one of the banks that requested a bailout at that meeting.

The Committee is also investigating whether Congresswoman Laura Richardson improperly profited from a real estate deal. The Long Beach Democrat lost a home in Sacramento to foreclosure, sold it, then reacquired it.

Richardson said she wasn’t the only American to face financial problems, but she’s been “subjected to premature judgments, speculation, and baseless distractions” that will be addressed in a fair evaluation of the facts. Congresswoman Waters said says she’s confident the ethics investigation will discover “there are no facts to support” the allegations of misconduct.