by Pearl Hahn
The House Ethics Committee has been probing three members of the House; Maxine Waters (D) of California, Sam Graves (R) of Missouri, and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) of Illinois. In the meantime, Representative Jackson’s investigation has been deferred.
The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct said the investigations are related to questionable conduct of Waters and an unspecified matter regarding Graves. Yet, concerning the probe surrounding Graves, the Office of Congressional Ethics was unable to find a “substantial reason to believe” that the lawmaker was guilty of any misconduct and had found information “that may contain exculpatory evidence” which was never provided to Graves.
Graves has said that his investigation revolves around testimony on renewable fuels that was requested by him during the time he was a ranking member of the Small Business Committee. The testimony was given by his friend Brooks Hurst, who is an investor along with Graves’ wife in renewable fuels plants in Missouri.
Waters is being investigated for possible involvement in providing $12 million in bailout funds to One United Bank, a bank in which her husband has served on the board and owned at least half a million dollars in stock. Her probe has been extended for 45 days.
The investigation into whether Jackson offered to help fund-raise for former Governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange to succeed President Obama in the Senate has been deferred due to the Justice Department intervening.
The committee said it “will continue to monitor the situation and will consider pursuing avenues of inquiry that it concludes do not interfere with the activities of the Department of Justice.”