The House ethics committee is sick and tired of getting cracked on for their slow way of going about things. Soon, they'll be tired of getting cracked on for allowing their cards to be shown after a security breach revealed the names of several people under investigation.
A junior staff member didn't quite file properly, and now the committee's business is in the streets. Among the names mentioned were Rep. Maxine Waters and Laura Richardson, both under investigation for private financial matters. From The New York Times:
The separate investigations into private financial matters of Ms. Waters and Ms. Richardson, both California Democrats, suggest a stepped-up effort by the ethics committee at a time when it has faced criticism for the slow pace of its work.
The security breach related to a document containing the names of more than two dozen members of Congress whose conduct had come into question, along with the status of those investigations, according to House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
To avoid unfair damage to a lawmaker’s reputation, investigations usually become public only after a preliminary inquiry.
Including the investigations of Ms. Waters and Ms. Richardson, the committee has now publicly acknowledged at least eight investigations, with the most prominent focused on Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
A committee statement about the security breach said a junior staff member, working from home, improperly placed a document listing all the continuing inquiries into a file-sharing software system to which people outside the committee had access. The staff member, whose name was not released, has been fired, and committee officials said Thursday that they did not know who had gained improper access to the document.
Well…at least they're trying to get stuff done?