That’s what the Washington Post reports, at least (H/T: The Daily Caller). To refresh people’s memories: Rep. Waters used her position on the House Financial Services Committee to intervene on behalf of OneUnited Bank, which happens to be a bank with a personal connection with Waters. The case was set to go in September, only to be delayed at the last second. It will be looked at in the next Congress, much to the displeasure of Democrats.
Highlights from the WaPo article:
- The ostensible reason for the delay of the Waters case is that new information in the investigation was suddenly deemed necessary for a proper prosecution. Current Ethics chair Zoe Lofgren (D) took this event as an opportunity to try to get two investigators fired; this was blocked by Rep. Jo Bonner (R), who is the current Ranking Member*.
- Lofgren allegedly mucked up the investigation from the start by not being aggressive on subpoenaing either Rep Waters and/or Rep. Barney Frank (chairman of Finance) and his staff.
- Lofgren also allegedly encouraged an unseemly haste to the proceedings, from trying to lock in a pre-election trial date to cutting investigators’ allotted time to present their case by four-fifths.
- By all accounts, Lofgren had also not prepared herself or her committee for a scenario where Rep. Waters was prepared to fight the charges; thus creating a leadership crisis when Waters did not make a deal.
It’s that last bullet point that most suggests incompetence, rather than malice; if Rep. Lofgren had been attempting to deliberately muck up the proceedings she probably would have been less obviously gobsmacked when Rep. Waters decided to play chicken with the Ethics committee. Admittedly, Lofgren could have been trying to sabotage the case and was later unpleasantly surprised to find out that Waters wasn’t prepared to accept any punishment for her ethical lapses; but the simplest solution is often the correct one. And it doesn’t get much simpler than “the current class of Congressional Democrats have all the administrative and legislative acumen of moldy milk bottles.”
But the point is, as they say, moot. Waters will be investigated by the 112th Congress, no doubt accompanied by her shrill cries of ‘racism!’ – and on an endless loop. Such is life.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*There is some indication that Zoe Lofgren will not be Ranking Member on Ethics next year. If so, this case and the Rangel disaster are probably the reasons why.