CNN’s Chris Cillizza criticized Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for making what he said were “irresponsible” remarks about former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial over the death of George Floyd last year.
Cilizza wrote that while elected leaders including President Biden have urged calm and restraint, Waters has done exactly the opposite over the weekend in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, at a Black Lives Matter rally to protest the killing of Daunte Wright.
“I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty,” she said in response to reporters’ questions. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to stay on the street. We get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the case, admonished Waters for her 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,” he said, adding that if they want to give their opinions “they should do so in a respectful manner.”
“Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent.”
Cahill admitted that Waters “may have given” the defense grounds “on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
Cillizza quoted Waters in an interview with the Grio defending her remarks by saying “I am nonviolent. 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.”
Maybe Waters herself isn’t violent, but her remarks suggest violence if Chavin isn’t found guilty.
Even though Cillizza also called out Republicans for their statements on the January 6 Capitol riots, he said that Waters was still wrong to fan the flames at a time like this.
“That sort of rhetoric — at a moment of such heightened tensions — is irresponsible coming from anyone. It’s especially irresponsible coming from an elected official like Waters.”
“But simply because that is undeniably true doesn’t mean that Democrats — especially Democratic elected officials like Waters — should have carte blanche to say and do whatever they want. For all of the people making the ‘what about Republicans!!!’ argument, remember this: You can only claim the moral high ground if you don’t get down in the dirt yourself.”
CommentsComments are turned off for this article.