The dispute over Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Cal.) Comments continued as Democrats were asked to condemn their calls on protesters to stay on the streets and become more confrontational. I recently wrote a column on how Waters became the best possible witness for Donald Trump in their own lawsuit against him. Waters was denounced by Judge Peter Cahill for undermining not only a conviction in the Derek Chauvin trial, but the court itself in order to fulfill its constitutional role. It seems an easy matter for those responsible to condemn Waters’ inflammatory remarks, but spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D., Cal.) Defended her and refused to criticize the comments. Earlier this year, Pelosi convicted Trump of criminal incitement and enforced his impeachment for using similar words on Jan. 6. Waters was also defended on CNN, where media representatives backed their call to protesters to stay on the streets and become more “confrontational”.
Waters urged protesters to stay and “fight” for justice, telling protesters to “stay on the streets” and “become more confrontational”. She also said that they shouldn’t accept anything other than conviction.
In both the impeachment and her lawsuit, Waters insisted that Trump tell his supporters to go to the Capitol to have their voices heard and to “fight” for their voices. Conversely, after several nights of unrest and looting, Waters spoke and urged protesters to stay on the streets and become even more confrontational. Violence ensued following the statements, including a shooting incident in which two members of the National Guard were injured. Waters has now guaranteed that she will be quoted by Trump in his own defense against her own lawsuit.
Judge Cahill made a rare statement in court condemning Waters for her comments and undermining the fairness of the trial. He explained that from the bank
I am aware of the media reports, I am aware that Congressman Waters spoke specifically about this trial and the unacceptability of less than a murder conviction and being confrontational, but you can file the press articles about it. This goes back to what I said from the start. I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in ways that do not respect the rule of law, the judiciary and our function. I think if you want to express your opinion, you should do so respectfully [way] and to respect an equal branch of government in a manner consistent with their constitutional oath. I think your failure is hideous.
He added that Waters had given the defense only one possible basis on which to overturn any conviction on the case.
While Cahill described Waters’ comments as “hideous,” Pelosi refused to criticize Waters for undermining the process amid ongoing unrest. When asked if she would ask Waters to apologize, Pelosi said “no” adding, “Maxine talks about civil rights-type confrontation.”
However, Pelosi thought someone should apologize. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) Said on the floor on Monday
“This weekend, too, we saw a member of the majority who openly called for more confrontation in a suburb of Minneapolis. There was a drive-by shooting in that community that night targeting the police and the National Guardsmen. If this were the other way around, if this were said by a Republican, you know that the majority in this chamber would touch that representative of their committees and potentially expel them from Congress. “
While saying Waters shouldn’t apologize, Pelosi said, “That woman on the floor should apologize for what she said.”
At CNN, Waters was also defended. After the hosts attacked Sen. Cruz for addressing the issue as hypocritical, former ABC analyst Matthew Dowd insisted Waters was right:
It’s incredibly thick, and so is the hypocrisy, not least January 6th and what happened on January 6th, and the number of Republicans who made their words do it. I just heard from Maxine Waters. We all need to know what we are saying. I don’t think what she said, we should criticize her for it. Of course we should be more confrontational. That doesn’t mean we should be more violent. But I was thinking about it as I was listening. Emmett Till was killed in 1955. An all-white jury found the people who did it innocent. Then Medgar Evers, Jimmie Lee Jackson, so many of these people guilty of murders and civil rights were released. And the only thing that got the civil rights legislation finally passed in 1965 was you know about nonviolent protests, and I think that’s where we will end today. The Republicans seem to me to be on the completely wrong side of history in this regard.
Well, not just Republicans, but the judge in the actual trial (who is a former adjutant to Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar).
I previously wrote that I believe Waters is protected under the first amendment in such comments, just as Trump has entered into protected language. However, I condemned Trump for his speech when he was still delivering it on January 6th. I also condemned Waters. It is not difficult. These are reckless comments made during times of great unrest and anger.
Waters ‘defense continues to undermine these figures’ position in Trump’s second impeachment. Indeed, Waters is now likely to play a huge role in the lawsuits against Trump. Just as it undermined the Chauvin case, it will increase the likelihood that Trump will prevail on these pending cases. If the court finds Trump involved in a protected speech, it will use that as a justification for him and others in substantiating their impeachment claims.