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Maxine Waters responds to Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all counts

California Rep. Maxine Waters said Tuesday she was 'not celebrating' following the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin case – days after her own call for protesters to get 'confrontational' caused an uproar. 

She made the comment after the 12-member jury who heard the case pronounced the former police officer guilty on three counts. 

'You know, someone said it better than me, I’m not celebrating, I’m relieved,' she said. 

Her statement came after Waters and Democratic leaders also found relief on the House floor – after a motion to censure the longtime Democratic officeholder failed narrowly in the closely divided House. 

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy moved Tuesday to formally censure Waters for her comments urging protesters to 'get more confrontational' depending on the outcome of the Chauvin trial. He moved quickly to force the issue, after a host of GOP lawmakers condemned the comments.

The House voted to table, or kill, the effort on a party-line 216-210 party line vote. 

The result was to temporarily set aside an effort that would have served as a high-profile rebuke by the Congress, although lawmakers could still seek other measures.   

The resolution quoted from Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, and who told the defense Waters 'may have given you something on appeal.' The House vote came just as the nation was bracing for a verdict in the Chauvin trial for the killing of George Floyd. The nation heard the outcome just minutes after the House vote.

California Rep. Maxine Waters presided over a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday, as Republicans demanded she lose her committee seats or be kicked out of Congress for her call for protesters to 'stay confrontational.' The House voted to table a resolution to censure her over the comments

If censured, Waters would have been be required to appear in the well of the House – a solemn repercussion the House last experienced in the censure of former Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York.

Democrats needed to hold together nearly their entire majority, given their razor-thin margin. In a sign of how little room for error they had, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer were seen outside the doors of the chamber where they could see lawmakers entering.

McCarthy tweeted out the resolution earlier Tuesday, writing: 'Chairwoman Waters' actions are beneath the dignity of this institution. They raised the potential for violence, directed lawlessness, and may have interfered with a co-equal branch of government.'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. moved Tuesday to censure Waters – which drew an immediate tabling motion on the House floor

Democrats immediately pointed the finger at McCarthy for failing to take any action against Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia after her own past comments about Q Anon, slavery, George Soros, and Muslims were unearthed. The House ultimately voted to strip Greene of her panel assignments. 

McCarthy's move got a stern rebuke from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Mich.), the chair of the Democratic caucus. 'Clean up your mess, Kevin,' he said in words directed at McCarthy. 'Sit this one out. You've got no credibility,' he said, pointing to GOP members like Greene with their own issues. 

'Lauren Boebert is a mess. Matt Gaetz is a mess. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a mess,' Jeffries said, referencing a trio of GOP lawmakers.  

The resolution contained several of Waters' quotes from her weekend visit to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, including saying: 'We're looking for a guilty verdict.' It also included her comments urging people to 'stay on the street' and that 'we've got to get more confrontational.'

She also defended herself in a brief exchange with CNN at the Capitol. 

'I love my colleagues and they love me. I don't want to do anything to hurt them or hurt their chances for reelection. I will make sure that they are comfortable with my kind of advocacy so that we can all be sure that we can do the right thing,' she said.

Amid the uproar, Waters presided over a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday from the powerful committee perch she holds even as Republicans threaten to try to yank her assignments, censure her, or even throw her out of Congress.

Waters, 82, climbed to her prized position under the seniority system in the House with the blessing of the House Speaker and the House Steering Committee. As such, she has the ability to shape major banking and securities legislation – and help determine what bills make it to the House floor and when.

Republicans want to deny the longtime California Democrat that authority, following Waters' comments that protesters might need to 'get more confrontational' after a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

The hearing was to mark up budget legislation, while holding hearings on legislation dealing with artificial intelligence and a resolution on financial technology. 

Waters wore a black face mask that said 'RECLAIMING OUR VOTE' that included her name. 

Some lawmakers have called on fellow Californian Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take action against Waters. Others, including New York candidate for governor Rep. Lee Zeldin and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, have called for her expulsion of Congress.

Greene herself had her committee assignments stripped following revelations about her social media postings and statements about Q Anon.

If just three Democrats bolt on a censure motion, Democratic leaders would stop short of being able to table it to keep it from coming to the floor. 

Waters made no mention of her political situation as she kicked off the hearing Tuesday, although she did appeal for efforts to improve 'racial justice and 'improve diversity and inclusion and create fairness in our housing system. '

One bill at the hearing would require regulators to evaluate the 'diversity and inclusion' of banks when determining ratings for them. 

Waters told CNN Monday night after the judge in the Chauvin case admonished her for her comments: 'The judge says my words don't matter.' She said her remarks would not be grounds for an appeal, and said: 'The whole Civil Rights movement is confrontational.' 

Her routine committee action came after Republican Sen. Ted Cruz blasted her for saying in Minneapolis Saturday that Black Lives Matter protesters should 'get more confrontational' if officer Derek Chauvin is found not guilty.

'Listen, in Minneapolis and all across the country, shop owners, cities are preparing for violent riots. And there are Democrats like Maxine Waters who are encouraging, they want to see more stores looted, they want to see more police cars firebombed, they want to see the violence because they think it serves their political ends,' Cruz said Monday night on Fox News Channel. 

Cruz said the problem was bigger than just Waters, who hasn't been publicly reprimanded by fellow Democrats. 

Sen. Ted Cruz blasted Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, saying she wanted to see police cars firebombed and stores looted 'because they think it serves their political ends' 

He pointed a finger at Vice President Kamala Harris, noting that she had tweeted out information to help protesters pay bail during last summer's Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.  

Cruz also said he believed Waters should be censured. 

Democrats have hit back at Cruz and other Republicans who voted to acquit President Donald Trump after his own calls for supporters to 'fight' on the day of the January 6 Capitol riot. 

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has claimed that up to 15 Democrats could vote for his motion to censure California Representative Maxine Waters after she told Black Lives Matters protesters to 'get more confrontational' in Minneapolis on Saturday night. 

During an interview with on Fox News Primetime, McCarthy said the congresswoman 'believes there is value in violence'.

'And now what she has said has even put doubt into a jury,' McCarthy said, referring to the George Floyd jury that started deliberations on Monday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin. 

'You had a judge announce that it was wrong. I think this takes action especially when she has a pattern of this behavior,' McCarthy continued. 

He was referring to Waters' 2018 remarks when she told Californians to 'get in the face' of Trump administration staffers if they see them in public. 

McCarthy said he believes there are 'probably 10 to 15' Democrats who would vote for censure. 

Kevin McCarthy (left) has claimed that up to 15 Democrats could vote for his motion to censure California Representative Maxine Waters (right) after she told Black Lives Matters protesters to 'get more confrontational' in Minneapolis on Saturday night

'It will all come down to the pressure of what Democrats will put on them to just try to vote to table it - not even to have the discussion,' he added. 

McCarthy's remarks Monday night came just hours after he claimed in a tweet that Waters 'broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence' while in Minneapolis over the weekend. 

Speaking after the jury was sent out on Monday afternoon, Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson once again made a bid to have the case against his client thrown out on grounds that there was no way the jury could be untainted by the excessive publicity surrounding the case.

'Now that we have US representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this trial it's frankly mind-blowing,' Nelson said.

Taking it into consideration Judge Peter Cahill said: 'I grant you Congresswoman Waters may have handed you grounds for appeal and the turning over of this trial.' 

Judge Cahill denied Nelson's move for a mistrial but he said: 'I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case. They should respect a co-equal branch of government.'

He said that failure to do so was 'abhorrent', but added: 'I don't think it's given additional material with which to prejudice the jury. A congresswoman's opinion really doesn't mean much.'  

McCarthy's remarks Monday night came just hours after he claimed in a tweet that Waters 'broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence' while in Minneapolis over the weekend

Maxine Waters, congresswoman for California, was in Minnesota on Saturday evening, saying that demonstrators needed to 'get more active, more confrontational'

McCarthy's move could get Waters removed from her committee assignments but, given Democratic control of the House, it will go nowhere if Democrats stick together. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to condemn her remarks and Pelosi insisted Waters shouldn't apologize. 

But Republicans pounced on Waters' remarks to the Black Lives Matter protesters. 

Cruz had previously criticized Waters, as did controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.  

But many of these Republicans accusing Waters of inciting violence did not make the same charge against then-President Donald Trump in the wake of the January 6 MAGA riot on Capitol Hill, that left five dead and a trail of destruction throughout the Capitol.

Cruz and Greene were some of Trump's most ardent defenders. 

McCarthy did take to the House floor to declare Trump, who riled up the crowd with his false claims the election was stolen, 'bears responsibility' for the attack on Congress. McCarthy later flew to Mar-a-Lago to make peace with the former president after Trump became furious at him for his words. 

Republicans have turned Waters into a punching bag before - notably for her urging the public to harass Trump White House staffers when they saw them in public.    

People gather at George Floyd Plaza in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis Minnesota to listen to the families of victims of police violence

A bullet hole in a National Guard vehicle is seen after Guardsmen were targeted on Sunday

Waters traveled to Minneapolis the weekend before closing arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd on May 25. 

The city is bracing for the verdict in the Chauvin case. More than 3,000 members of the National Guard are in Minneapolis, in addition to 1,100 officers from public safety agencies across the state as part of what has been termed Operation Safety Net. 

Waters said she hoped Chauvin was found guilty.

 'I am not happy that we have talked about police reform for so long,' Waters said, demanding a guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial and adding: 'If we don't [get it], we cannot go away. We've got to stay on the street.' 

She added that protesters needed 'get more active, more confrontational' and they should ignore the curfew in place. 

'We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business,' she said when it comes to police shootings.

Hours after Waters' passionate speech, a Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis police team were fired upon in a drive-by shooting. 

The team was providing neighborhood security in Minneapolis when, at about 4.19am local time, a light colored SUV drove by and blasted shots at an occupied National Guard vehicle.  

The city of Minneapolis prepares for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial with National Guard on patrol in the streets

No team members were seriously injured, though two National Guard members suffered minor injuries: One was injured by shattered glass and taken to a local hospital, while the other suffered only superficial injuries.  

'Why is Maxine Waters traveling to a different state trying to incite a riot? What good can come from this?' asked Lauren Boebert, representative for Colorado.

Fellow Colorado Rep. Ken Buck said: 'Why is a sitting member of Congress encouraging protesters to get 'confrontational?''  

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs added: 'The Radical Left don't care if your towns are burning, if there's violence in your streets, or if the police are too defunded to defend their communities. 

'As long as the Left appeases their anti-America base, their job is done.'  

Greene, congresswoman for Georgia, called for her to be expelled from Congress.  

Waters is pictured with demonstrators outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Saturday night

Waters joins demonstrators in a protest outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Saturday night

Peaceful protesters in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Saturday night

Demonstrators raise their fists at Union Station near the U.S Capitol, during a march in Washington, DC, on Saturday

A demonstrator holds a Black Lives Matter sign during a protest outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Saturday

'As a sitting United States Congresswoman @MaxineWaters threatened a jury demanding a guilty verdict and threatened violence if Chauvin is found not guilty. This is also an abuse of power. #ExpelMaxineWaters'

She called Waters 'a danger to our society.'  

On Twitter, others joined in the outrage at Waters' remarks. 

'Of course she'll get away with saying that while anyone else would've been thrown in jail,' Rick Santella tweeted.

Another user tweeted, 'Good grief lady, leave get out of here.'

One person also accused Waters of 'stirring people up again with her calls for violence.'  

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