The press conference, which featured a PowerPoint presentation led by her chief of staff and grandson Mikael Moore, which ended with the words: â€śNo Benefit, No Improper Action, No Failure to Disclose, No One Influenced: No Case.â€ť It was a stark contrast to the emotional and rambling speech delivered on the House floor Tuesday by Rep. Charles Rangel over his own ethics case, as the chamber prepared to vote for a $26 billion state-aid bill. Speaking in her trademark spirited manner, Waters said that it would be â€śeasier and more convenientâ€ť if she were to cut a backroom deal by agreeing to some violation whether sheâ€™s guilty or not, but she is prepared to not only defend herself but also to open up a discussion about the ethics investigation process, which she and other lawmakers have for various reasons deemed greatly in need of improvement.
A source very knowledgeable about the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Waters has a long history of advocating on behalf of minority banks, including OneUnited, which will be to her advantage as the case moves forward.
â€śThe issue isnâ€™t whether she helped minority institutions, itâ€™s whether she personally benefited and thatâ€™s where her burden of proof is. If the bank hadnâ€™t been helped, the bank would have suffered a loss and if it went down, [her husbandâ€™s] $350,000 worth of stock would have been worth zero,â€ť he said.
He also predicted that in the end, Waters will likely receive only a slap on the wrist, and deservedly so, he said. When Waters did eventually realize there would at least be a perception of conflict of interest, she was advised by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), chair of Financial Services Committee, to let his office handle the matter.
â€śIf it had stopped right there, there wouldnâ€™t be an inquiry now,â€ť the source said.
Calls to the NBA and OneUnited for comment were not returned.