Document Dump Illuminates Waters Ethics Charges

A document dump by the House Ethics Committee revealed three potential areas of violations by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

House ethics investigators have probed whether Waters violated House rules in late 2008 by requesting bank bailout funds for OneUnited Bank, an institution located in her district. Waters' husband owned stock in OneUnited and served on the board.

Waters denies any wrongdoing and has asked for a public forum in September to try to defend herself against the allegations.

The charges against Waters puts Democrats in a tight spot as they face two ethics trials this fall. In July, an ethics panel reported it found that Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., allegedly broke House rules 13 times.

Senior House Democrats have applied pressure on Waters and Rangel to carve out a deal with the Ethics Committee and avoid a potentially embarrassing public trial.

In the instance of Rangel, at least one, prominent ethics investigator believes the chance to negotiate is by the wayside.

"We're now in the trial phase," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on July 29.