In her first television interview since the charges were filed, the Democratic congresswoman from California told me "nobody did anything that interfered with their decision making" that lead to more than $12 million of TARP funds given to OneUnited bank — a bank that her husband had a $175,000 financial investment in and formerly served on its board of directors.
"We did not receive and my husband did not receive any benefit from any of this," Waters told me.
The investigation alleged that Waters’ chief of staff, Mikael Moore –who is also her grandson –was "actively involved" in writing the legislation authorizing the Treasury Department to give TARP funds to OneUnited.
Waters said "that is absolutely not true."
"If you take a look at the allegations you see that they cannot identify anything that [Moore] actually did," Waters told me. "Did he call somebody? Did he write a letter? Did he ask me to do anything? They have not been able to verify what it is he supposedly did."
I questioned Waters about Moore’s email to a staffer for the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Barney Frank, that read “OU [OneUnited] is in trouble.”
“So what does that mean,” she asked.
“It is more staff chatter than anything else. It does not identify that he took any action,” Waters said.
And as for the allegations that OneUnited would have failed if it had not received TARP money – Waters said "that has nothing to do with my case."
“Maybe they would have failed, I don’t know. But the fact of the matter is they had private capital and they would not have failed if they had not gotten any TARP money because they had gotten the money from the private market,” she said.
Watch the interview here: