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Waters will choose House ethics trial, source says

From Deirdre Walsh, CNN Congressional Producer
  • The Democratic representative arranged a meeting between a bank and Treasury officials
  • The House ethics committee is investigating whether she violated any rules
  • Waters is a senior member of the House Financial Services committee

Washington (CNN) -- Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California has chosen to face a House ethics trial rather than accept a finding of wrongdoing by the House ethics committee, according to a source familiar with the process.

The ethics committee has been looking into whether Waters violated any House rules when she helped arrange a meeting in September 2008 between a bank she and her husband had ties to financially and Treasury Department officials.

The bank was seeking federal assistance. Waters is a senior member of the House Financial Services committee.

Waters met with the House ethics committee Wednesday evening, but she declined to comment to CNN when she left the meeting.

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If Waters' trial goes forward, she would be undergoing the same sort of procedure begun just this week for another prominent House Democrat, Rep. Charles Rangel of New York.

The ethics committee has accused Rangel, former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, of 13 violations of House rules involving alleged financial wrongdoing and harming the credibility of Congress.