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Waters Makes Her Case to the Media

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is sitting down with reporters today at 10 am to defend herself against charges brought against her by the House Ethics Committee. At the meeting, the congresswoman will hand out a detailed memo explaining why the allegations of a conflict of interest — for helping secure bailout funds for a troubled minority-owned bank in which her husband owned stock — do not hold water.

The Hill reports that Waters had originally considered holding a press conference on Tuesday, then later cancelled — placing her in sharp contrast with Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y), who delivered a 37-minute floor speech about his own ethics investigation the day the House was back in session.

Waters did draw parallels between the two investigations on Tom Joyner’s radio show, however:

“The OCE [Office of Congressional Ethics] is poorly constructed,” Waters said. “You don’t know who is charging you with what or brought a claim against you or who brought the information to the OCE … of all the information claimed or accusations brought to them, they think that African-Americans are the only ones who they move further with investigation on.”

In truth, the OCE has recommended that a number of congressmen, both black and white, be further investigated, but the House Ethics Committee has chosen only to pursue those cases against Reps. Rangel and Waters. Waters’ attacks against the OCE reflected a general distaste that members of Congress share for the independent ethics body. In this case, however, it seems her indignation would be better directed against her peers on the ethics committee.

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