Judge Peter Cahill, presiding over the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, rejected a defense request for a mistrial based in part on the remarks of California Rep Maxine Waters.
“Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” Cahill told Chauvin’s attorney.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank told Cahill that Waters’ statements shouldn’t be allowed to become part of the court record.
“I don’t know if this particular representative made a specified threat of violence. I don’t know what the context of the statement is,” Frank said. “I just don’t think we can muddy the record with vague allegations as to things that have happened without very specific evidence that’s being offered through the court.”
Cahill allowed the defense to supplement the record with news articles about Waters’ statements.
“I’m aware the Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction and talk about being confrontational,” Cahill said. “I think if (representatives) want to give their opinions, they should do so in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect the co-equal branch of government.”
“Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it has prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury,” he continued. “A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.”
This is what Maxine Waters had to say that brought about Republican outrage, and threats of a mistrial from the Chauvin defense attorney.
Story at USA Today