Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the Senate floor on Monday to call out Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and her “inappropriate” conduct after she called for protesters to “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is not found guilty for the death of George Floyd.
“Every single American deserves a fair trial. This is sacred,” McConnell said. “You do not balance the scales of justice by trying to tip them, and yet, this past weekend, one Democratic House member from California took it upon herself to visit the protesters in Minneapolis.”
In mentioning Waters’ visit to a protest outside of a police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, McConnell said Waters’ words and conduct were reminiscent of “somebody window-shopping or ordering off a menu.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell uses his floor speech today to go after Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) after she told protesters in Minnesota to "stay in the street" and become "more confrontational":
“It’s hard to imagine anything more inappropriate …” pic.twitter.com/syadcXtj9Y
— The Recount (@therecount) April 19, 2021
“It’s hard to imagine anything more inappropriate than a member of Congress flying in from California to inform local leaders, not so subtly, that this defendant had better be found guilty or else there will be big trouble in the streets,” McConnell added, insisting that the actions taken by Waters go “beyond the pale.”
“It’s beyond the pale for a sitting member of the United States Congress to look at what happened last summer and imply there should be some kind of sequel,” McConnell said.
During her visit to Minnesota, Waters insisted that Chauvin must be found “guilty, guilty, guilty,” telling those taking part that “we’ve got to stay in the streets and we’ve got to demand justice.” She added:
We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice.
“I am very hopeful and I hope that we are going to get a verdict that say guilty, guilty, guilty,” she continued, telling those at the scene that if it does not pan out the way she intends for it to, then “we cannot go away.”
Asked what protesters should do, Waters said, “We’ve got to stay on the streets and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational, we’ve got to make sure that they know we mean business.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended Waters on Monday, saying she should not apologize for her words, which critics have claimed can incite violence.
“No she doesn’t,” Pelosi told CNN reporter Annie Grayer when asked if Waters should apologize for her remarks. Asked if Waters’ remarks could incite violence towards others, Pelosi said, “Absolutely not.”
Chauvin, whose criminal trial concluded Monday, faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Should he be convicted, Chauvin will face up to 40 years in prison.