WASHINGTON, August 28, 2017 – With the crisis in Texas, and the Presidential pardon of Joe Arpaio, ANTIFA and more stupidity being thrown at us by the left, you might have missed the many House Ethics Committee investigations of Democrats.
In 2008, the committee charged the ten-term California Democrat Maxine Waters with three counts of violating House rules and the federal ethics code in connection with her effort to arrange a 2008 meeting between Treasury officials and representatives with OneUnited bank.
Waters, who sits on the Financial Services Committee, broke a House rule requiring members to behave in a way that reflects “creditably” on the chamber. The committee noted that by trying to assist OneUnited, Waters would benefit from the bailout because her husband owns OneUnited stock, estimated at $350,000.
At the end of September 2008, the stock, which represented up to 15.2 percent of the couples net worth, had fallen to $175,000. The committee found that “if OneUnited failed, [Waters’s] husband’s investment would have been worthless.”
This could have been a real issue for Waters who lives in a heavily mortgaged home and whose net worth is at negative $14,991 when comparing her assets to liabilities.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
According to the disclosures, Waters and her husband own property in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Kern County and Washington, D.C. Her home in the Windsor Square neighborhood of Los Angeles is valued at at least $1 million, Waters reported, as is her mortgage on the property.
Waters is also accused of violating the “spirit” of a House rule that prohibits lawmakers from using their positions for financial gain, as well as a government ethics statute banning the dispensing of “special favors.”
In the complaint, Waters is charged with contacting then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to request the meeting between the National Bankers Association (NBA) and Treasury officials. Three of the four attendees the NBA invited had ties to OneUnited, according to the Office of Congressional Ethics.
In the end, that meeting resulted in OneUnited receiving a $12 million bailout despite the fact that the Treasury Department officials knew it had a record of failing to serve its community’s lending needs, tipping Water’s assets to liabilities ratio toward the positive.
Senator Barney Frank, head of the House Banking Committee, had previously warned Watersagainst involvement in assisting OneUnited, noting her husband’s ties to the bank. However, the committee found that Waters remained involved through her chief of staff, Mikael Moore. Waters’ attorneys say that Moore, who is also the congresswoman’s grandson, acted without her knowledge.
Waters has long denied any wrongdoing, CNN reporting in 2010:
Waters, a 71-year-old 10-term Democrat representing the Watts section of Los Angeles, insists she did nothing wrong.
“I have not violated any House rules,” she said in a statement released Monday. “I simply will not be forced to admit to something I did not do.”
Waters asserted that “the record will clearly show that in advocating on behalf of minority banks neither my office nor I benefited in any way, engaged in improper action or influenced anyone. … The case against me has no merit.”
Waters stressed that the meeting “was requested and scheduled on behalf of the (National Bankers Association), not on behalf of OneUnited Bank as has been suggested.”
Other Democrats charged with ethics violations are Rep. Charles Rangel, charged with 13 counts of breaking House rules and federal ethics statutes and then there is Rep. Corrine Brown, a Florida Democrat that represents Florida’s 5th Congressional District. Brown and her chief of staff have been indicted for using Brown’s official position to solicit more than $800,000 in donations to the education charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc. Tens of thousands of dollars collected was used to pay for conference receptions and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game, among other things.
Only two One Door-associated scholarships totaling $1,200 allegedly were awarded to students to cover expenses related to attending a college or university.
According to the Washington Post June 26, 2017 article House Ethics Committee is reviewing allegations against three Democrats:
The House Ethics Committee said Monday it is reviewing charges lodged against two high-profile Democratic lawmakers and a senior Democratic aide.
The lawmakers facing an ethics review are Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and the longest-serving sitting House member, and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The staffer is Michael E. Collins, chief of staff to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
Statements released Monday by the Ethics Committee did not detail the allegations against the three men, which were forwarded to the committee by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics based on a “substantial reason to believe” a violation has occurred.
So how often has Congress drained its own swamp and expelled a member? The answer is not often, instead opting for lessers forms of punishments (From Thought Co):
The most serious of penalties is expulsion and is provided for in Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”
Such moves are considered matters of self-protection of the integrity of the institution.
A less severe form of discipline, censure does not remove representatives or senators from office. Instead, it is a formal statement of disapproval that can have a powerful psychological effect on a member and his relationships. The House, for example, requires members being censured to stand at the “well” of the chamber to receive a verbal rebuke and reading of the censure resolution by the Speaker of the House.
Used by the House, a reprimand is considered a lesser level of disapproval of the conduct of a member than that of a “censure,” and is thus a less severe rebuke by the institution. A resolution of reprimand, unlike a censure, is adopted by a vote of the House with the member “standing in his place,” according to House rules.
Suspensions involve a prohibition on a member of the House from voting on or working on legislative or representational matters for a particular time. But according to congressional records, the House has in recent years questioned its authority to disqualify or mandatorily suspend a member.