Maxine Waters' chief of staff previews defense against House ethics charges

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Alex Wong/Getty Images

Congresswoman Maxine Waters won’t speak with reporters about ethics charges until tomorrow. But her chief of staff has offered a preview of her response to allegations she used her congressional clout to assist a troubled bank in which her husband owned stock.

Mikael Moore isn’t just Congresswoman Waters’ chief of staff; he’s also her grandson. The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct says Moore was “actively involved” in helping OneUnited Bank’s efforts to get bailout money from the Treasury Department when it was handing it out two years ago.

Moore wouldn’t agree to a recorded interview. But outside the congresswoman’s office, he told reporters that House ethics investigators “started at a destination and tried to figure out a way to get there."

Moore says the trail of e-mails cited in the committee report doesn’t show how anything he did helped OneUnited get TARP money. And he says there are no documents from the Treasury Department or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that show Waters or her staff influenced their decision making.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters and aide Mikael Moore will talk with reporters after the House vote on emergency funding for Medicaid and teacher salaries.

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