Senate

Cruz: Biden comments on Chauvin verdict ‘grounds for a mistrial’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Tuesday that President Biden’s comments on the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged with the death of George Floyd last year, could lead to a mistrial in the case. 

The Texas senator’s remarks came after Biden commented on the trial during questions he fielded in the Oval Office earlier Tuesday.  

“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict,” Biden said

“Which is — I think it is overwhelming in my view,” he added.

The jury set to decide Chauvin’s fate is currently sequestered and deliberating a verdict. Chauvin faces three criminal counts — second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Cruz seized on the president’s comments later in the day, saying Biden’s remarks on the case could derail the judicial process or leave a potential conviction open to an appeal. 

“Joe Biden decides that Maxine Waters shouldn’t be the only politician foolishly providing grounds for a mistrial or a possible basis on appeal to challenge any guilty conviction,” Cruz said in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. 
 

 
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), during a rally for racial justice in Minnesota over the weekend, said that “we’ve got to get more confrontational” when combating systemic racism in policing and demanding justice for Black people abused or killed by police. 
 
Republicans expressed outrage in response to Waters’s remarks, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) plans to introduce a motion to censure Waters over her comments. 
 
After sending the jury into deliberations, the judge in the Chauvin trial slammed lawmakers in general on Monday following Waters’s comments. 
 
“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.” 
 
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that Biden was not trying to get ahead of the verdict. 
 
“The president has been clearly watching the trial closely as many Americans have been. He was also moved by his conversations with the family yesterday,” Psaki said during the daily briefing.
 
“The jury is sequestered, which is why he spoke to this, but I will expect that he will weigh in further once there is a verdict,” she added.
 
Several major cities across the country are bracing for the public reaction to the verdict in the Chauvin case, beefing up security and, in some cases, calling in the National Guard as a precaution. 
 
Video of Floyd’s death sparked massive protests last summer. And while the bulk of the protests remained peaceful, some deteriorated into rioting, looting, and clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators. 
 
Biden last week said he supported peaceful protests following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who died earlier this month.
 
However, the president said that there was “absolutely no justification” for rioting or violence. 
 
“His position is that there should be space for peaceful protest,” Psaki said Tuesday when asked about public reaction to the Chauvin trial verdict. “That will be his point of view regardless of the outcome.”
Tags Derek Chauvin George Floyd Jen Psaki Joe Biden Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Maxine Waters Ted Cruz Ted Cruz

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