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Waters on Chauvin guilty verdict: 'I'm not celebrating, I'm relieved'

Waters on Chauvin guilty verdict: 'I'm not celebrating, I'm relieved'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden address to Congress will dominate busy week Maxine Waters: Judge in Chauvin trial who criticized her was 'angry' GOP, Democrats grapple with post-Chauvin trial world MORE (D-Calif.) said she was relieved when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd on Tuesday. 

"Someone said it better than me: I’m not celebrating. I’m relieved," Waters told reporters after the verdict was read

Waters had been on the receiving end of intense backlash from Republicans following remarks she made over the weekend about the case. 

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Waters told a group of protesters and journalists in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Saturday "we've got to get more confrontational," when advocating for police reforms. 

The congresswoman was also criticized for her comments by the judge in the Chauvin case. 

"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," Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said Monday. "If they want to give their opinions, they should do so ... in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution." 

Republicans and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyLoyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Likely Cheney successor appears on Bannon show to tout GOP unity MORE (R-Calif.) on Tuesday introduced a measure of censure against Waters for the remarks, saying her words amounted to an incitement of political violence. 

The measure failed on a party-line vote just moments before the Chauvin verdict was handed down by a jury. 

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Several House Democrats including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (Calif.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesOn The Money: Breaking down Biden's .8T American Families Plan | Powell voices confidence in Fed's handle on inflation | Wall Street basks in 'Biden boom' Democratic leaders push to boost congressional staff pay Troy Carter wins race to fill Cedric Richmond's Louisiana House seat MORE (N.Y.) came to Waters's defense following the attacks from Republicans.

“Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out. You’ve got no credibility here,” Jeffries told McCarthy earlier on Tuesday. 

Pelosi on Monday said Waters "talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement."

"I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family," Pelosi said. "They've handled this with great dignity and no ambiguity or lack of — misinterpretation by the other side. No, I don't think she should apologize."

Waters addressed her GOP critics earlier on Monday, accusing them of trying to "send a message" to racists with their attacks on her.

“Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent ... any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats'] backs," Waters said.