Vote to censure Rep. Maxine Waters over remarks ahead of Derek Chauvin verdict fails in House
WASHINGTON - A vote to censure Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., failed Tuesday after some GOP lawmakers accused her of incitement ahead of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
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House members voted 216-210 to table a resolution on the censure Tuesday, April 27.
On Saturday, Waters was asked her thoughts on what should happen if Chauvin were to be found not guilty. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is accused of killing George Floyd on May 25, 2020 after he was seen on video kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
"We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business," Waters told reporters Saturday.
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Waters, a California Democrat, had joined protesters on Saturday outside the police department of a Minneapolis suburb where a police officer fatally shot a Black motorist earlier this month. Waters, who is Black, told the crowd she wanted to see a murder conviction against Derek Chauvin for Floyd’s death.
Waters said she was "hopeful" Chauvin would be convicted of murder, but if he isn't, she said, "We cannot go away."
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The judge overseeing the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer in the death of Floyd on Monday called the comments by Waters "abhorrent," saying they could lead to a verdict being appealed and overturned.
Judge Peter Cahill showed frustration with Waters' rhetoric shortly after the jury was dismissed Monday to begin deliberations. Chauvin's defense attorney had motioned for a mistrial in light of Waters' comments. Cahill denied the motion but called it "disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch" for elected officials to comment on the outcome of the case.
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"Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, he said. "But I don’t think it has prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury. They have been told not to watch the news. I trust they are following those instructions."
Several Republican lawmakers have slammed Waters comments.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spearheaded efforts to reprimand Waters, saying she planned to introduce a resolution to expel Waters from Congress, calling her a "danger to society."
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"As a sitting United States Congresswoman @MaxineWaters threatened a jury demanding a guilty verdict and threatened violence if Chauvin is found not guilty. This is also an abuse of power," Greene tweeted.
Greene, a Republican, faced expulsion herself over previous controversial social media posts suggesting violence against former President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress. She was removed from committees because of her postings.
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Waters hasn’t commented yet on the failure of the resolution. FOX Television Stations has reached out to her office for comment.
FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.