Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the case involving the death of George Floyd, said on Monday that remarks made by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) over the weekend could lead to the “whole trial being overturned” on appeal.
“And it is so pervasive that it is I just don’t know how this jury it can really be said to be that they are free from the taint of this,” the lawyer representing Derek Chauvin said. “And now that we have U.S. representatives, threatening acts of violence in relation to the specific case, it’s mind boggling to me, judge.”
“Well, I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” Cahill responded.
Judge Cahill to Chauvin defense attorney Eric Nelson: "I'll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned." pic.twitter.com/ZhlmmoKgC3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 19, 2021
“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.”
Chauvin trial judge denies the defense's request for a mistrial, BUT he did SLAM Maxine Waters for her threatening comments in Minnesota this weekend to jurors, calling them "abhorrent" and "disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function." pic.twitter.com/rAoa1QvcqZ
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 19, 2021
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Monday afternoon that he is introducing a measure to censure Waters for her remarks and, if it passes, she will lose her position as chairwoman on the House Financial Services Committee, according to House Democrat Caucus rules.
“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.”