Editor’s Note: Read more on the fallout from Maxine Waters’s incitement scandal here.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., accused Republican lawmakers of trying to bully her into silence after they threatened to censure her over her comments encouraging national violence.
“I am nonviolent,” Waters claimed in an interview with The Grio on Monday.
“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, basically calling us violent,” she continued.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and several other Republicans called on Democratic leadership to take action against Waters but were met with little interest from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in holding her fellow Democrats accountable for their words.
Police in Minneapolis were fired on and a church was burned down after Waters urged Black Lives Matter rioters to become “more confrontational” on Sunday.
Waters’s rhetoric appeared to be geared toward pressuring a Minnesota jury into finding Derek Chauvin, the police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, guilty of murder.
“We gotta stay on the street, 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 during a protest this weekend.
Waters has refused to admit wrongdoing and instead claimed Republicans were “distorting” what she said.
She also said Republicans were trying to send “white supremacists” after her with their criticisms.
“Any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that,” she claimed.
But the judge presiding over the Chauvin trial found Waters’ comments problematic and berated politicians on the Left from attempting to exert influence over the judicial proceedings.
Judge Peter Cahill showed frustration with Waters’ rhetoric, telling Chauvin’s defense team that she “may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
Waters responded defiantly, insisting that she would not stop “speaking truth to power,” despite the judge’s admonishment and warning about a mistrial.
“I am not intimidated,” she said. “I am not afraid, and I do what needs to be done.”