With mounting concern over fall-out from the Charles Rangel affair, Rep. Maxine Waters, a 10-term California Democrat, is facing a possible trial-like ethics proceeding in the U.S. House over charges that she helped steer federal money to a bank that had links to her husband.
Waters has apparently chosen to go to trial, conducted by an ethics panel adjudicatory subcommittee, rather than accept a judgment against her, according to Politico
. She is the second Democrat -- and the second senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus -- to run into ethics trouble in recent days. Rep. Rangel, D-N.Y., the former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, may go on trial in September
over complaints of improper fundraising, failure to publicly disclose income and assets, and nonpayment of taxes
In a Friday interview on CBS News
, President Obama said the charges against the 80-year-old Rangel, now in his 20th term, are "very troubling." "He's somebody who's at the end of his career," Obama told CBS' Harry Smith. "I'm sure he wants to be able to end his career with dignity. And my hope is that it happens."
A half dozen members of his own party have called on Rangel to resign, rather than drag the House -- and his fellow Democrats -- through a public ethics trial, less than two months before the mid-term elections, the Associated Press
Waters, 71, has been under investigation for a possible conflict of interest: helping to arrange a meeting between the Treasury Department and Boston-based OneUnited Bank, a minority-owned institution seeking federal TARP funds, the AP
said. Waters' husband, Sidney Williams, had previously served on OneUnited's board of directors and also held at least $250,000 worth of stock. The bank eventually received $12.1 million in federal aid, according to the Washington Post
Waters, a member of the House Financial Institutions Committee, said in the past she is confident investigators "will discover there are no facts to support allegations that I have acted improperly." The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
, the formal name of the ethics panel, could make the charges public next week, sources told the AP.