When ethics charges were brought up against California Rep Maxine Waters in 2010 she responded with cries of racism and unfair practices from the committee’s lawyers that violated her rights. The truth was the ONLY thing unfair was that Ms. Waters may have helped her husbands bank receive TARP money even though it was undeserving.
The House Ethics Committee announced today results of an independent investigation determining that her rights were not violated and she will have to sit on the ethics hot seat.
In a letter to Waters, the committee wrote to inform the lawmaker that it had considered the 12 allegations of misconduct her lawyer had presented against the panel and found that none of them was in violation of the House or committee rules.
“As such, there has been no violation of the due process rights to which you are entitled. Even when the allegations are considered in their totality, there is still no violation of the process which you are due, and the Committee is entitled to continue its consideration of your matter,” the lawmakers wrote.
Waters is accused of helping an unsound bank (OneUnited) receive government aid to help her husband who was an officer and stock-owner of the bank.
OneUnited was financially reeling from the federal government’s takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which had their shares wiped out by the government action. OneUnited owned substantial shares in the two mortgage giants, Frank said….
..But OneUnited was also facing regulatory scrutiny last fall from other government agencies, which later slapped a cease-and-desist order on OneUnited due to “unsafe and unsound banking practices.”
Regulators also complained of “excessive” executive pay at OneUnited – including a Porsche for use by CEO Kevin Cohee….
The evidence against Ms Waters includes series of emails from Waters’ Chief of Staff, Mikael Moore and members of the House Financial Services Committee:
The e-mails show that Mr. Moore was actively engaged in discussing with committee members details of a bank bailout bill apparently after Ms. Waters agreed to refrain from advocating on the bank’s behalf. The bailout bill had provisions that ultimately benefited OneUnited, a minority-owned bank in which her husband, Sidney Williams, owned about $350,000 in shares.
Among other key documents
pointing toward wrongdoing by Ms Waters is an October 17, 2008, email
from former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Banking and Finance King
Mueller to former Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari and other
Treasury officials referencing the contact between Frank and Paulson:
Just spoke w/ Jim [Segel] in BF’s [Barney Frank’s] office.
This is about One United Bank (a minority owned bank in BF’s
district). Maxine Waters is interested in the bank as well, Treas[ury]
and others met w/ them (minority bankers assoc) last month per the
Water’s request. They were a big holder in f/f preferred. BF is
interested and may call HMP [Henry Paulson] again about this. FDIC is
their primary federal regulator. [Emphasis added.]
there is also this October 16, 2008, email from Kashkari to former
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Appropriations and Management Peter
“Peter, Jim Siegel [sic] from Frank’s office called a few
times-can one of you follow-up with him?” (Segel serves as Frank’s
Chief Counsel.) Paulson’s October 2008 calendar, which has been released
separately, details calls from Frank on October 2, 3, 7, 9, 13, and
With respect to Rep. Waters, the documents
include a January 13, 2009, email from Brookly McLaughlin, Treasury’s
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, expressing surprise at
Waters’ apparent conflict of interest: “Further to email below, WSJ
[Wall Street Journal] tells me: …Apparently this bank is the only one
that has gotten money through section 103-6 of the EESA law. And
Maxine Waters’ husband is on the board of the bank.
According to report released by the Office of Congressional Ethics in 2010, Barney Frank tried to steer Waters away from getting involved with the banks request for taxpayer money.
Waters had confided to Frank that OneUnited bank was coming
to her for help, but that she felt conflicted because of the financial
interest of her husband, Sidney Williams. It is against House rules to
use one’s power as a member for personal financial gain.
“She knew she should say no, but it bothered her,” the report said,
recommending that the House Ethics Committee take formal action.
Frank told the committee that he offered to Waters that he would take care of it for her.
“I said, look, it’s a Boston institution. You should stay
out of it. It’s a legitimate constituency thing for me. You should stay
away from this. It’s a legitimate thing for me to do, and you shouldn’t
be involved,” Frank told the Globe, recounting his conversations with
Frank then helped his Congressional colleague
out and directed his staff to make OneUnited eligible for TARP funds,
behavior that while sleazy because the bank was in trouble because of
other violations and probably should not have received tarp funds,
apparently it was not unethical.
Maxine Waters is a perfect example of what is wrong with Congress a partisan who uses the office to promote her legacy and enrich her family and her friends. Its nice to see that her arrogant sense of entitlement may finally be getting her in trouble.