WASHINGTON — Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Standard & Poor’s disclosed its downgrade of U.S. debt to certain financial institutions before it made the information public.

In a two-page letter dated Wednesday to SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro, Waters said: “Given the historic nature of S&P’s downgrade, and the tremendous market volatility experienced after that downgrade, I feel it is appropriate for the commission to conduct an investigation.”

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