The press conference, which featured a PowerPoint presentation led by her chief of staff and grandson Mikael Moore, which ended with the words: “No Benefit, No Improper Action, No Failure to Disclose, No One Influenced: No Case.â€ 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 “easier and more convenientâ€ if she were to cut a backroom deal by agreeing to some violation whether she’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.
“The issue isn’t whether she helped minority institutions, it’s whether she personally benefited and that’s where her burden of proof is. If the bank hadn’t been helped, the bank would have suffered a loss and if it went down, [her husband’s] $350,000 worth of stock would have been worth zero,â€ 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.
“If it had stopped right there, there wouldn’t be an inquiry now,â€ the source said.
Calls to the NBA and OneUnited for comment were not returned.