Black Lawmakers Anxious Over Ethics Trial Dates

Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters can't wait to clear their names.

By Jamilah King Sep 24, 2010

It looks like both Reps. Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters will have to wait to hear about their upcoming House ethics trials. While the committee has strongly hinted that both trials will likely happen after midterm elections so that the committee can dodge accusations of politicizing the process, both Rangel and Waters are miffed that they’re not being given a chance to clear their names on the campaign trail, reports [The Hill]( Over the summer, both [Rangel]( and [Waters]( were slammed with charges of impropriety by the House ethics committee. Both longtime lawmakers have vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and have pushed for public trials. Still, those charges — coupled with several other [high profile cases](– have spurned debate over whether black lawmakers face [more scrutiny]( than their white counterparts, or if [incumbency]( breeds unavoidable levels of corruption. Despite the charges, Rangel recently won his democratic primary in Harlem without much fuss. Waters also remains tremendously popular in her South Los Angeles district. But Republicans seized on the opportunity to paint democrats as a lawless majority who’ve failed to live up to their promise of cleansing the "ethical swamp" on Capitol Hill. The irony isn’t lost on Rangel. "There are so many members they can destroy by just doing nothing," Rangel recently told [The Hill]( "If I was a first-termer, it’s all over." Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the ethics committee involved in negotiating the trial dates, hinted that they hope to have both trials scheduled before Congress adjourns in October.