U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, is saying Try me or tell me why not.
Waters, 72 and re-elected to her 10th term this November, has been under investigation by a House ethics subcommittee since August 2009. Her hearing before an adjucatory subcommittee was to start today.
Ten days ago, however, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct postponed the hearing, saying that additional material had been discovered and needs to be looked at by the original investigative subcommittee, and sent the matter back to that panel.
No new hearing date has been set.
Waters, at a press conference today, said she is being denied due process of law.
The Ethics Committee had ample time to prepare their case against me, she said. As I stated just 10 days ago, I believe this cancelation demonstrates in no uncertain terms the weakness of their case against me.
Waters is accused of intervening improperly on behalf of OneUnited Bank. Waters' husband is a stockholder and former director of the bank, and the bank's executives were major contributors to her political campaigns.
The bank had been heavily invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and suffered considerable losses when the federal government took over those quasi-public mortgage lenders in 2008.
In September 2008, Waters arranged a meeting between U.S. Treasury officials and bank executives, so the bank could make a case for receiving federal bailout money. Three months later, OneUnited Bank received $12 million in TARP funds.
Waters repeated today what she has said throughout the investigation.
The plain facts of this case established by me and my legal team, reveal only one thing: no benefit, no improper action, no failure to disclose, no one influenced, no case, she said.
Waters said her message to the committee is simple.
Schedule my hearing before the end of the session or tell me, my constituents, and the American public the real reason for this delay, she said. There is no legal, rules-based or common sense reason to delay this hearing any longer. I want this issue resolved immediately.