She contended she had nothing to do with the government's eventual decision to give OneUnited a $12 million bailout, and U.S. officials involved in the decision backed her up on that point. Ethics committee members ultimately agreed.
The banks were in trouble because of their investments in mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were taken over by the government.
Waters had been under investigation since 2009, starting with the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The case later shifted to the Ethics Committee, where it has caused much dissension.
The two committee lawyers who originally worked on the case were suspended by the panel's former Democratic chairman, who accused them of meeting with committee Republicans while excluding Democrats.
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