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The empty threats of a Capitol Hill ethics investigation


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fell short of calling for the resignation of disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner, instead opting for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. My response to that: big whoop.

Notoriously unethical Rep. Charlie Rangel faced a series of allegations of ethics violations and of breaking tax laws. The Ethics Committee "investigated" and last year found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of violating House ethics rules and approved a sanction of censure against Rangel. The New York congressman won re-election with an embarrassing 80 percent of the vote.

About the same time Rangel's charges were announced, Rep. Maxine Waters, another Democrat, was set to face her own ethics trial last fall. How'd that turn out?

Wellllllll, we're still waiting.

Though Waters stands accused of funneling $12 million of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds, to a financial institution her family owns a significant stake in, Investors Business Daily noted this week how we're still waiting for the Ethics Committee to act after Democrats successfully stalled the process:

The ethics trial of Waters, accused of swinging millions in federal bailout cash to her husband's ailing bank, was set to begin last November.

But the Democrat leadership has delayed Waters' trial by blocking subpoenas and firing the lead lawyer working on the two-year investigation. Also, the ranking Democrat on the House Ethics panel reportedly is holding up the hiring of a new staff director.

In the long stall, we've learned that Waters' chief of staff heavily lobbied bank examiners, who according to internal emails were livid about the intervention.

Pressure from Waters' office resulted in a $12 million federal loan for OneUnited Bank and a unique exemption from the FDIC's accounting rules. One FDIC examiner called it a "travesty of justice."

Waters claims her top aide didn't know her spouse was involved with the bank, even though the aide is also her grandson.

In calling for an ethics investigation of Weiner, Pelosi is doing little more than sweeping the New York congressman and his political liability under the rug.

Way to drain that swamp, Nancy!

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