Rep. Waters Ethics Hearing Postponed Due To New Evidence

On the heels of a censure recommendation for Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), the House ethics committee today announced that the upcoming ethics hearing for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is postponed indefinitely.

Unspecified new evidence has cropped up in the case, according to the committee, and the matter will go back to an investigative panel. The hearing had been set for Nov. 29.A spokesman for Waters did not immediately have comment. [Update: See below.]

Waters was accused in July of committing three ethics violations. According to the committee, Waters improperly helped secure TARP funding for a bank, OneUnited, which her husband had stock in at the time.

She has maintained her innocence, saying she was legitimately helping an association of minority- and women-owned businesses get in touch with Treasury officials during the financial crisis.

Waters has been demanding a hearing since the allegations were announced in July.

The announcement takes the process back several steps. It is unclear what would happen to the investigation if it is pushed into the new Congress, which begins in January.

Late update: In a statement, Waters accuses the committee of “showing a complete disregard for due process and fairness” and claims the delay proves that the committee didn’t have a strong case to begin with.

She also provides some details about the new evidence, which she says is neither new nor material:

In fact, the Committee has had this ‘new’ document since October 29th, and it does not provide any new significant information. In fact, the document shows that my office was working to ensure that Emergency Economic Stabilization Act assisted small and minority institutions. The document does not reflect any action on behalf of any specific company. Although the Committee continues to insist that the ‘small bank language’ was drafted to benefit only one institution, the facts do not support that assertion; in fact, the documentary record directly contradicts it.