Questions Surround Maxine Waters Ethics Trial

The congresswoman wants a public trial to clear her name, but the House Ethics Committee has stalled the process. 

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Rep. Maxine Waters still wants to clear her name. (Getty)

Brian Gerhart of ColorLines is reporting that the House Ethics Committee has yet to make substantial progress in its corruption case against Rep. Maxine Waters. The lingering investigation against the California Democrat has garnered as much attention for its controversial process as for the alleged dealings of Waters.

While the member of the Congressional Black Congress has repeatedly made clear her desire to move forward with a public trial in an attempt to clear her name, the Ethics Committee hasn't shown any intent of clearing up the matter or offering an explanation for the administrative bungles that have plagued the case.

Waters, who represents California's 35th Congressional District, has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Ethics Committee because she advocated on behalf of OneUnited Bank, a black-owned financial institution whose board of directors included Waters' husband. The beleaguered bank ultimately received $12 million in federal bailout funds dating back to 2008. Waters was ultimately charged with three ethics violations.

The day after Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) was found guilty of ethics violations, the case against Waters stalled after the revelation that the House Ethics Committee had engaged in "unethical practices" in building cases against former Rep. Ted Stevens and, perhaps, Waters. Two lawyers were placed on leave because of "missteps" in gathering evidence for the pending ethics trial against Waters.

There was never a reason given by the House Ethics Committee, although it was rumored that infighting derailed the case. Waters, who is eager to clear her name, has been left in limbo.

Perhaps this is a gift horse and Waters should be satisfied with the world knowing that the Ethics Committee is flawed and its plan to go after her failed. No one wants this sort of thing lingering or heading over her head, but leaving it alone may be the best strategy. If Waters insists on clearing her name, then she should be allowed to do exactly that. Unfortunately, the House Ethics Committee only has the authority to move this buggy forward.

Read more at ColorLines. 

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