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To: John Semmens

If it could be done then I wish the Republicans would shut her up now.

3 posted on 02/20/2012 3:34:13 PM PST by tobyhill
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To: tobyhill
If it could be done then I wish the Republicans would shut her up now.

The GOP could shut her up tomorrow if they had any stones

Maxine Waters Ethics Case: 6 Committee Members Recuse Themselves Los Angeles Times ^ | Richard Simon - Friday, February 17, 2012 3:05:05 PM

The tumultuous ethics case against Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Los Angeles’ most enduring politicians, took another strange turn Friday as six members of the House Ethics Committee recused themselves from considering the charges against her.

Committee Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) said that all five of the panel’s Republicans, including himself, and one Democrat were taking the unusual action of recusing themselves from further involvement in the long-running Waters case "out of an abundance of caution and to avoid even an appearance of unfairness." Six new House members immediately were named to the bipartisan panel to consider all matters related to the Waters case.


Maxine Waters’ Ethics Trial Stalls. Again. (Who Is Surprised?) | July 23, 2011 | Patrick Richadson

Waters threatens to sue the House Ethics Committee for mishandling her case.

It’s notable that Waters is not asking for the case to be dismissed on the merits, but only because she claims she can no longer get a fair trial.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said in an interview that he inserted the provision for minority banks to protect OneUnited — because it is based in his state.

The provision sought by Waters — and inserted by Frank — told the Treasury Department that it should consider — for bailout money — banks that had an asset size of $1 billion or less, and whose size dropped to a lower range because they owned devalued preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The only bank that language would affect was OneUnited.

Waters is accused of using her influence to gain special treatment for Massachusetts-based bank OneUnited, which received $12 million in bailout funds. Changing a law was required in order to get them the money. Her husband, former Ambassador Sidney Williams, owned more than $350,000 in stock in the bank, and had also been a board member.

Rep. Maxine Waters wants ethics charges dropped

Citing “gross misconduct,” the lawyer representing Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is asking the House Ethics Committee to dismiss all charges against his client.

In a letter addressed to the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Republican Jo Bonner of Alabama, and the committee's top Democrat, Linda Sanchez, Waters' attorney Stanley Brand cited internal documents showing a close relationship between two former committee lawyers in the case and Republican committee members, saying “any further action by the committee would be “irremediably tainted and without legal foundation.”

Rep. Waters is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. The committee alleges that she tried to obtain a federal bailout for a minority-owned bank where her husband is an investor.

“Based on the facts of the case and the record of committee misconduct, the only remedy that vindicates the principals of the quasi-judicial functions of the committee is immediate dismissal with prejudice. No other remedy exists to cure this misconduct,” Atty. Brand wrote.

Rep. Waters has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying she had no role in the Obama administration's decision to bail out Boston-based OneUnited Bank. The congresswoman's husband, Sidney Williams, owns stock in the bank, and his investment was in danger of becoming worthless during the near-financial collapse of late 2008.

OneUnited received $12 million in bailout money in December 2008. But Treasury Department officials have told House investigators that Rep. Waters was not involved in that decision.

Rep. Waters contended she had supported legislation to help all troubled, minority-owned banks like OneUnited—and specifically those, like OneUnited, that were hurt by their investments in the then-collapsing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Atty. Brand said internal documents showed that the two former lawyers regularly corresponded exclusively last year with Rep. Bonner, then the ranking Republican and now the ethics chairman.

The two lawyers, C. Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign, were suspended last year by the previous Democratic chairman, Zoe Lofgren of California. Neither accepted Atty. Bonner's offer earlier this year to reinstate them.

The committee had charged Rep. Waters with violating House rules and was ready to begin a proceeding on her conduct late last year, but the case was sent back for further investigation after the controversy erupted over the conduct of the two lawyers.

Atty. Brand said in his statement that if there is prosecutorial misconduct in a criminal case, a judge would usually dismiss the charges. He also said the case was flawed.

“Given that both current members and staff are implicated in these documents, any other suggested remedy would lack legal credibility and would confirm an unprecedented level of bias against my client,” Atty. Brand added.

Meanwhile ethics watchdogs are calling on Rep. Bonner to step down as chairman of the House Ethics Committee—at least temporarily—for his role in the ongoing turmoil over Rep. Waters' case.

“I think there needs to be an investigation into the whole matter, including Mr. Bonner's role and that Mr. Bonner should step aside during the course of that investigation,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

“If Mr. Bonner is found to have broken the committee's rules, he should be sanctioned by the full House.”

2 House ethics attorneys suspended (includes lead attorney on Maxine Waters case)

Blake Chisam, the chief counsel and staff director for the ethics panel, initially sought to fire Kim and Sovereign on Nov. 19, but was unable to do so.

It is unclear if the decision to place Kim and Sovereign on paid leave was related to the Waters’ case or another matter, although they were placed in that status on the same day that Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the committee, announced the Waters’ trial was delayed. The committee announced that it had new information, including e-mails from Mikael Moore, Waters' chief of staff, that would have an impact on the Waters’ matter.


13 posted on 02/20/2012 3:59:18 PM PST by Elle Bee
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