House Democrats blocked a censure of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Tuesday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced to hold Waters accountable for inflammatory remarks that she made over the weekend related to the trial of Derek Chauvin.
“Democrats held firm in their support for Waters with all party members voting to ‘table,’ or kill, the censure resolution introduced by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 216-210,” The Washington Post reported.
Waters said at a protest in Minnesota over the weekend that “protesters” were “looking for a guilty verdict,” and if they don’t get what they want, then “we cannot go away.” Regarding what “protesters” should do if they do not get the verdict that they want, Waters responded that activists have “got to stay on the street,” “get more active,” and “get more confrontational.”
McCarthy announced on Monday that he was introducing a measure to censure Waters, which would have stripped Waters of position as chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.
“This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence. Increased unrest has already led to violence against law enforcement and her comments intentionally poured fuel on the fire,” McCarthy said in a statement. “We’ve heard this type of violent rhetoric from Waters before, and the United States Congress must clearly and without reservation reprimand this behavior before more people get hurt. But Speaker Pelosi is ignoring Waters’ behavior. That’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Waters for these dangerous comments, and I hope that all my colleagues – both Republican and Democrat – will stand up for peace on America’s streets.”
McCarthy said during a Fox News interview on Monday night that he thought that there was somewhere between 10 and 15 Democrats who would vote to censure Waters over her remarks.
Waters’ remarks sparked a stern rebuke from Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the George Floyd case. Cahill told the defense that Waters’ remarks could lead to the “whole trial being overturned.”
“I’m aware that Congressman Waters was talking specifically about this trial, and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction, and talk about being confrontational,” Cahill said. “But you can submit the press articles about that. This goes back to what I’ve been saying from the beginning. I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law, and to the judicial branch and our function.”
“I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a co-equal branch of government,” he continued. “Their failure to do so I think is abhorrent, but I don’t think it has prejudices with additional material that would prejudice history, they have been told not to watch the news. I trust they are following those instructions, and that there is not in any way a prejudice to the defendant beyond the articles that we’re talking specifically about the facts of this case. A Congress woman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot. Anyway, so motion for mistrial is denied.”