Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick, the second Democrat to call for the resignation of Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., after 13 ethics charges were levied against him two weeks ago, is keeping mum about the latest round of problems for a Democrat in the U.S. House. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was slapped with three ethics violations this past week, but Minnick isn't calling for her resignation - yet.
Waters, among other things, is accused of arranging special treatment and deals with bailout funds for a bank in which her husband owned stock. According to reports, the financial institution, OneUnited Bank, received $12 million of the $700 billion in Trouble Asset Relief Protection, or TARP, money. Waters, serving her 10th term in the U.S. House, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case.
Minnick's campaign spokesman, John Foster, wouldn't say if the congressman had formed an opinion on the allegation yet. "Walt expects to learn more about the issue when he is back in D.C. next week," Foster told IdahoReporter.com Friday. Members of Congress, normally on a six-week break in August, have been called back to the nation's Capitol to vote on a bill to bolster states' Medicaid funding, as well as provide more dollars to schools to sustain staffing levels in the upcoming school year.
This is only the fourth time in the last 30 years that an ethics investigation has proceeded to this point. Rep. Jim Traficant, a Democrat from Ohio, and Rep. Michael Myers, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, were each expelled from the House on separate occasions – Traficant in 2002 and Myers in 1980. Waters, like Rangel, is demanding a full trial of the charges, something Democratic leaders had hoped to avoid so close to mid-term elections.
The state's other congressman, Rep. Mike Simpson, won't comment on Waters' charges at all. Simpson's spokesman, Nikki Watts, said that because the congressman sits on a panel that could initially review the Waters case, he desires to remain impartial and withhold judgment for now.
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