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Monday, August 9th was no doubt a difficult day for the California democrat Maxine Walters. The Ethics Committee made the accusations formal and have charged her with three counts of ethics wrongdoing. Among those charges, she’s being accused of accepting favors for a family member. The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct means a trial will likely be held and will include eight members of that make up the ethics committee, says A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder.

For the past ten terms, Waters, a Los Angeles native, holds a powerful position. She’s a part of the Financial Services Committee, which promptly denied her request to dismiss those charges she now faces. She’s denied any wrongdoing. The committee has determined there is “substantial reason to believe that a violation of the Code of Official Conduct, or a law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct applicable to the performance of official duties or the discharge of official responsibilities has occurred”.

One of the charges has to do with her husband’s employer. She is accused of requesting federal help for the bank her husband owned stock in and was a member of the board. This is definitely not good news for Democrats, says A. Harrison Barnes. Another representative, Charles Rangel of New York is currently facing at least 13 charges. They include a failure to disclose income and other assets as well as accusations of delaying federal tax payments and improver use of a subsidized New York apartment that was used for his campaign office. He too has denied any wrongdoing.

An advocate of assisting Haiti’s recovery after a devastating tsunami earlier this year, it appears she will continue to focus her energies on the Six Month Review, currently being held with the Congressional Black Caucus. She is also focusing much of her attention on the Haitian elections.

On her website, she released a statement that reads in part:

“No benefit, no improper action, no failure to disclose, no one influenced: no case”.

“I have not violated any House rules. Therefore, I simply will not be forced to admit something I did not do and instead have chosen to respond to charges made the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in a public hearing…the record will 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…”

She concludes with:

Although I am not convinced that the process for investigating and examining House ethics cases is fair, I welcome the opportunity to show my constituents and the American public that the accusations…are frivolous and unfounded”.

This will surely be a political battle that will continue through the fall months as all legal and political eyes will remain focused on the investigation, says A. Harrison Barnes. If she is found guilty, it could potentially further eradicate public confidence in a political system some say is already broken. She has not stated whether she will be paying for legal counsel from her own funds of if taxpayer dollars will foot the bill.

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