Maxine Waters wants ethics committee investigated

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Kitty Felde/KPCC

Maxine Waters at a press conference on ethics charges, August 13, 2010

Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been the subject of an ethics investigation for months. Now she wants to investigate the ethics committee that’s investigating her. Waters wants to know why a pair of lawyers assigned to her case were suspended.

A draft document obtained by KPCC says Congresswoman Maxine Waters will offer a resolution as early as today asking for a House investigation of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. That committee is planning to try Waters on ethics charges.

Her resolution asks soon-to-be-former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to appoint a bipartisan task force to find out why two staff lawyers on the committee were put on indefinite administrative leave. It also suggests “disciplinary measures” where needed.

Waters is accused of using her position on the powerful House Financial Services Committee to influence the bank bailout legislation that would help a minority-owned bank in which her husband owned stock. Waters has insisted repeatedly she did nothing wrong.

The resolution says the lawyers’ suspension has subjected the ethics committee to “public ridicule,” and “produced contempt for the ethics process.” It also says the suspension has made it appear that the committee’s purpose was to “unjustly impugn the integrity of a Member of the House” – meaning Maxine Waters.

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