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Ethics Committee Unveils Waters Charges

The House ethics committee Monday released a 10-page statement of alleged violations by Rep. Maxine Waters, alleging that her chief of staff — who is also her grandson — took active steps to help secure federal support for a bank in which Waters and her husband held hundreds of thousands of dollars of shares.

The investigative subcommittee that drafted the statement argued that after organizing a meeting for bank officials with the Treasury Department, Waters had recognized that she might have a conflict of interest and did not pursue further efforts on the bank’s behalf. But she also “should have instructed her chief of staff, Mikael Moore, to refrain from assisting” the bank, investigators concluded.

The statement charges Waters with three violations of House rules for failing to direct her chief of staff to not pursue the matter, including a charge that she created the appearance of taking official action for her personal benefit, “which did not reflect creditably on the House.”

Waters had asked the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to release the charges against her so that she would be able to publicly respond to them. The committee is expected to convene a trial on the charges in the fall.

In a mid-July response filed with the committee, Waters’ attorneys argued that her chief of staff acted without her knowledge and that her behavior is comparable to the activities of Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), who was exonerated by the committee a year ago. Graves had invited a business partner of his wife’s to testify before Graves’ committee at a hearing that covered the industry in which the witness and Graves’ wife were investors, and neither man had disclosed this relationship at the hearing.

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