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MAXINE WATERS SMILING

WASHINGTON— California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is scheduled to go on trial Monday before an ethics panel. The Democrat is accused of trying to obtain a U.S. bailout for a bank where her husband owns stock.

But a recently discovered e-mail, which forced postponement Waters’ trial, appears to bring the House ethics committee no closer to proving the allegation.

An e-mail by Waters’ chief of staff — who’s also her grandson — says Waters was closely watching the writing of bailout legislation that included a provision to help minority-owned banks. But the e-mail doesn’t mention OneUnited Bank — where Waters’ husband is a stockholder.

A key question is whether Waters instructed her chief of staff to get help for OneUnited, when it was in danger of becoming worthless during the near-financial collapse in 2008.

OneUnited did end up receiving $12 million in bailout money. But Treasury Department officials have told House investigators that Waters was not involved in that decision.

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