With the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd coming to an end, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) has astounded congressional colleagues with an outburst that can’t help but harken back to the second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. On the evening of April 17, Waters appeared at the city of Brooklyn Center, MN, where she told reporters, “I hope we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty,” in the trial. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away.” She also said, “I’m going to fight with all the people who stand for justice,” and that “we’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational.”
In what many GOPers are referring to as an “incitement,” Waters, so far, appears unrepentant. And it looks like senior politicians are demanding action. With tensions already high and riots and looting being widely reported, the California politician is being accused of adding fuel to the fire.
Paging Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is demanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) take measures against Waters. He said:
“Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past. If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also weighed in on the controversy, writing, “Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence … They want to tear us apart.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) launched an action on Sunday to have Waters expelled from Congress, citing the California politician’s incitement of “Black Lives Matter domestic terrorists to fire gunshots at National Guardsmen in Minnesota.” She continued:
“As a sitting United States Congresswoman, Rep. Maxine Waters threatened a jury demanding a guilty verdict and threatened violence if Chauvin is found not guilty. This is also an abuse of power … Rep. Maxine Waters must be expelled from Congress!”
A Long History?
As was brought to public attention during President Trump’s Senate trial, Waters has a history of encouraging “action” from citizens against her political opponents. In 2018, she said:
“Let’s make sure we show up whenever we have to show up … And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve to get the children connected to their parents.”
But perhaps what is most astounding for those watchful of hypocrisy is that Maxine Waters is presently “suing former President Donald Trump and others for inciting violence on Jan. 6 with his words on the Mall.”
It would take mental gymnastics to consider Trump’s remarks as incitement and yet Waters’ as simple political rhetoric. Whether Nancy Pelosi takes action, or whether Taylor Greene’s efforts at expulsion work, it may come down to a strictly partisan choice. With a majority in both chambers (albeit a slim one), it is Democrats who have the power to set the agenda.
Should cities burn when the Chauvin trial is concluded, Democrats may find themselves unable to defend their colleague.
Read more from Mark Angelides.