During a 90-minute press conference, Representative Maxine Waters vehemently denied breaking House conflict-of-interest regulations by allegedly helping garner Federal support for a troubled bank that had close ties to her husband.
A House Ethics Committee charged Waters with three separate violations after it learned that the veteran congresswoman requested a meeting with the Treasury Department in 2008 to discuss the fate of OneUnited Bank. Waters’ husband, Sidney Williams, was a stockholder in the bank and a member of its board of directors.
Later that year, OneUnited Bank received a $12 million Federal bailout.
In response to the allegations, Waters said that the meeting she arranged was between the Treasury Department and the National Bankers Association, of which OneUnited is a member, according to USA Today. She added that she had nothing to do with the financial institution receiving Federal funds.
In the ethics committee report, investigators noted that OneUnited was the only bank to attend the meeting.
During the press conference, Waters pointed the finger at the former administration’s Treasury Department, which was run by Secretary Hank Paulson, Fox News reports.
"The question at this point should not be why I called Secretary Paulson, but why I had to," she said. "The question at this point should be why a trade association representing over 100 minority banks could not get a meeting at the height of the crisis."
Waters added that she will not resign her seat, suggesting that public trial is imminent.