House Democrats on Tuesday defeated a move to censure House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters over comments she made to protesters near Minneapolis that some warn could incite violence and interfere in the Derek Chauvin trial.
Democrats rallied to defeat a motion by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that would have censured Waters for telling protesters to stay in the streets and “get more confrontational” if Chauvin, a former police officer, is not found guilty of charges that he killed George Floyd, a black man who died in his custody.
McCarthy called Waters’s comments “dangerous.”
Waters also called for a guilty verdict, provoking a rebuke from the Chauvin trial judge, who said it could enable a successful appeal.
But Democrats Tuesday defended Waters and said her remarks were taken “out of context.” Waters was not advocating violence but rather was invoking terminology used to advocate for civil rights, they said.
“To confront is to come face to face with what you need to, ah, face or to deal with, and that is what she said,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said when a reporter asked how Democratic leaders planned to respond to Waters. “It does not imply violence.”
Hoyer called the McCarthy measure a political “gotcha” move and said Waters was justified in her comments to people in the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, area who were protesting the death of a black man who was shot by police.
“Chairwoman Waters’s remarks reflect the very profound anger and sense of hopelessness that she and many others, myself included, feel when we see African Americans being killed during encounters with our law enforcement and their families not seeing justice,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer warned the censure motion could lead to “numerous resolutions on my side of the aisle” against GOP lawmakers Democrats believe have used dangerous rhetoric. Democrats last month voted to strip committee assignments from Republican freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over social media posts prior to her election that appeared to endorse violence against Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, also defended Waters.
The censure defeat comes after the nation’s top Democratic leaders advocated for a guilty verdict.
President Joe Biden and Schumer both suggested Chauvin should be found guilty.
“I hope that justice is brought to the Floyd family,” Schumer said.
Biden called the evidence in the case “overwhelming” and told reporters he is “praying for the right verdict.”
On Monday, Chauvin trial judge Peter Cahill told Chauvin’s lawyer that Waters’s comment could provide grounds for a successful appeal.
Author : Susan Ferrechio
Source : Washington Examiner : Democrats block move to censure Waters over Chauvin trial comments