GOP members of House ethics committee want Dem's ethics trial to start now

Republicans on a House committee want the ethics trials of L.A. Democrat Maxine Waters and New York Democrat Charles Rangel to start now, not after the election.

Usually, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is careful to present a bipartisan front. But in an unusual move, all five Republican members of that committee demanded the ethics trials of Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel start now, before the election. They say the committee chair — California Democrat Zoe Lofgren — is “stalling.”

Waters is accused of using her political influence to help a bank in which she had a financial interest. Last month, Waters wrote the committee to ask for a speedy trial, saying a delay denies her constituents “the opportunity to evaluate this case.”

The watchdog group CREW — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — says Rangel and Waters “must answer for their actions.” But CREW also says the ethics committee shouldn’t be a weapon used “to score political points.”

Congresswoman Lofgren was traveling and unavailable for comment.

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