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Maxine Waters to Mount Ethics Defense in Press Conference

4:32 PM, Aug 12, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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I'll say this for 'em. Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel are not going out without a very public fight, bordering on Blagojevichian levels of boldness. Rangel took his case to the House floor this week, hijacking the get-together Pelosi planned to bail out the states and unions with a 37-minute rambling speech. Maxine Waters, whom the ethics committee has slapped with three charges, will take her case straight to reporters tomorrow:

At the 10 a.m. meeting with reporters, Waters plans to hand out a detailed memo explaining her defense in bullet points. She will likely echo some of the same themes her office has been driving since the ethics committee announced three conflict-of-interest charges against her two weeks ago. The allegations involve her help in getting bailout money for a troubled minority-owned bank in which her husband at the time owned stock.

She also hinted at her message going forward:

Waters also alluded to racial motives Tuesday on Tom Joyner's show, which is broadcast over the Internet on BlackAmericaWeb.com.

"The OCE [Office of Congressional Ethics] is poorly constructed,” Waters said. “You don't know who is charging you with what or brought a claim against you or who brought the information to the OCE ... of all the information claimed or accusations brought to them, they think that African-Americans are the only ones who they move further with investigation on.”

She's incorrect. The OCE has recommended investigations of both black and white members, but no matter. It's going to be quite a fall.

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