Waters investigation reopened

Dec. 2, 2010 at 9:29 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The legal problems for Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., might have taken a turn for the worse, officials said.

The House ethics committee has approved a forced, indefinite leave by two of the lead investigators on the panel investigating alleged wrongdoing by Waters on behalf of a bank, The Washington Post reported.

Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said "materials" have surfaced that require an investigative subcommittee to take up Waters' alleged ethics violations once again.

The investigative subcommittee recommended in August that Waters be tried on ethics charges for helping a troubled, minority-owned bank in Boston in which her husband held a large investment.

Lofgren's announcement came as the investigative subcommittee postponed her ethics trial, probably putting off any vote by the full committee on the lawmaker's fate until next year, the report said.

The investigative committee found new evidence that Waters' staff played a more substantial role in drafting key bank bailout legislation than previously thought.

Waters' office also confirmed the existence of an email in which her chief of staff, Mikael Moore, who is also her grandson, demanded that aides to Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., show him the final version of legislation to help minority-owned banks.

In a statement, Waters said the removal of the attorneys from the investigative panel could have occurred because "something has gone wrong in the ethics process." She said the committee "must reveal immediately the circumstances that prompted its action."

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