Maxine Waters gets snippy with GOP lawmaker during hearing: ‘Just one moment please!’

It may not be clear what Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was trying to do near the end of a committee hearing Tuesday, but her visceral response to being questioned spoke for itself: “Just one moment please!”

(Video: C-SPAN)

Waters’ days as chair of the House Financial Services Committee are nearing an end with ranking member Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) set to take the 84-year-old’s spot at the beginning of the 118th Congress. Until then, she remained in charge during Tuesday’s hearing on the collapse of cryptocurrency trading exchange FTX where current CEO John Ray testified.

After Ray had answered questions for nearly four hours, Waters seemed ready to conclude the proceeding as she stated, “I would like to enter into the record the closing statements from Ranking Member McHenry and myself.”

The only problem was Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) was still waiting for his opportunity to ask questions and so he spoke up, “Chairwoman Waters. Chairwoman Waters. I’ve not had an opportunity to testify–to question the witness.”

Rather than acknowledge Gooden’s concern, Waters could be seen turning to an aide and exchanging some words before returning her attention to Ray and carrying on with her thanks for his testimony.

“Chairwoman Waters,” the Texas legislator spoke up again, “parliamentary inquiry?”

Visibly annoyed by the interruption, Waters turned to face Gooden and curtly said, “Yes?”

“Are all members entitled to question witnesses?” he asked for clarity, drawing exasperation from the chair, “You are! And if you would like to miss the votes on the floor for-”

“Hey, it’s the chairwoman’s prerogative to call a recess,” Gooden interjected as Waters attempted to foist blame on the congressman if they missed a vote by remaining in committee, “That’s your decision, not mine.”

“Just one moment please!” she said twice with her finger pointing at her fellow member, “You may go right ahead and have five minutes, thank you.”

“Thank you, Madam Chair,” Gooden seemingly sniped back before Waters concluded the sarcastic exchange, “You’re certainly welcome, sir.”

The congressman scored one last point against the outgoing chair after he completed his brief questioning of Ray when he passive-aggressively yielded the remainder of his five minutes not to her, but to ranking member McHenry before getting up and leaving the room.

The hearing was expected to feature the disgraced former CEO and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. However, the 30-year-old was preoccupied at a Bahamian court following his arrest Monday. Waters had issued a statement expressing her surprise noting, “It’s about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun.”

As Bankman-Fried has been accused of giving millions of dollars in illegal contributions to Democrats, witnesses to Waters’s disgruntled attitude at the end of the hearing feigned surprise given her documented rapport with the crypto fraudster.


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