WASHINGTON - California Congresswoman Maxine Waters delivered the following statement outside the House Administration Committee room today, where her ethics hearing originally scheduled for today was supposed to take place:
“Good morning and thank you for being here.
As you know, my hearing was scheduled for this morning at 9am, and I am here because I am, as I have always been, eager for my opportunity to have my day before the adjudicatory subcommittee. I am disappointed that the committee has chosen not to hold my hearing.
Since it has been canceled, I, like you, am looking for answers.
Ten days ago, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct canceled the hearing that was scheduled for today and has not given me any indication on where or when the hearing will be rescheduled. The reason that was given by the committee, the discovery of so-called new evidence, is unacceptable and defies common logic. In fact, to call it a ‘reason’ is being too kind; it was nothing more than an excuse.
The truth is, the detailed and continuous analysis of committee rules and precedent, and the plain facts of this case established by me and my legal team, reveal only one thing: no benefit, no improper action, no failure to disclose, no one influenced, no case.
I have been denied basic due process.
- The Office of Congressional Ethics referred their investigation to the Ethics Committee in August 2009 – almost one and a half years ago.
- In October 2009, the Ethics Committee voted to empanel a subcommittee.
- The Statement of Alleged Violation adopted by the subcommittee was transmitted to the full committee on June 15, more than five months ago.
- The committee made the SAV public on August 2nd, 17 weeks ago.
- The committee announced the hearing on October 7th, 53 days ago.
- And then suddenly, 10 days ago, with no notice, and no real reason, they canceled it.
All of this is to say that the Ethics Committee had ample time to prepare their case against me. As I stated just 10 days ago, I believe this cancelation demonstrates in no uncertain terms the weakness of their case against me.
I had consistently called on the committee to schedule the hearing before the November elections and that request went unanswered. Ironically, the Republican Members of the committee shared my view, so much so that they were willing to break their own rules in order to share their frustration. Now they have seemed to reverse their course, and joined with the other members of the committee to delay the hearing.
Despite these setbacks, my legal team and I have acted in an open, transparent and accountable manner at every step along the way. We have participated fully in the Committee process, including the timely filing of motions -- some of which went unanswered -- and the exchange of documents. We are fully prepared for this hearing. Despite this, the committee has again denied me my opportunity to be heard. This type of behavior, lack of decency and professional decorum would not be accepted in a court of law, and it should not be accepted in the United States House of Representatives, the body responsible for making the laws.
So my message to the committee is simple: schedule my hearing before the end of the session or tell me, my constituents, and the American public the real reason for this delay. There is no legal, rules-based or common sense reason to delay this hearing any longer. I want this issue resolved immediately, and I want my constituents to know that the person they re-elected with 80 percent of the vote on November 2nd is doing exactly what they sent her here to do: fight for them.”