Monday, December 11, 2023

Scalise Condemns Maxine Waters’s Violent Rhetoric: ‘I Was Shot Because of This’

'Let's be clear: Maxine Waters knew her rhetoric would incite violence in Minneapolis—but she doesn't care...'

Editor’s Note: Read more on the fallout from Maxine Waters’s incitement scandal here.

Following an incitement to violence by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., telling protestors to “get more controversial,” during a rally last Saturday in Minnesota, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was one of many to call her out.

The House minority whip was in a unique position to do so. “I was shot because of this kind of dangerous rhetoric,” Scalise tweeted on Monday.

Scalise was critically injured, along with five other victims, after a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter targeted a Republican House baseball practice in 2017.

Nonetheless, Democrats have ignored the problem within their own ranks while blaming former president Donald Trump and his supporters for the mostly peaceful uprising at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.

Waters made the offending remarks in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, following the recent shooting death of Daunte Wright.

During the rally, she also weighed in controversially on the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin over the death of 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,” Waters said. “But I am very hopeful, that I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that will say, ‘Guilty, guilty, guilty!’ And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”

Race riots occurred in the the aftermath of Waters’s appearance, during which police were fired upon and a church was burned to the ground.

The comments drew widespread condemnation from Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who filed a resolution for Waters’s removal.

In addition to the incitement of violence, some warned that Waters’s intimidation tactics could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the verdict in Chauvin’s murder trial.

Although Chauvin was convicted on all counts Tuesday, the judge said evidence of a less-than-impartial jury may open the door to a mistrial on appeal.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also spoke out against Waters’ remarks.

“Every single American deserves a fair trial,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “This is sacred. You do not balance the scales of justice by trying to tip them.”

But those criticisms fell on deaf ears by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats, who blocked an effort to censure Waters by a vote of 216-210.

In response, government accountability watchdog Judicial Watch announced Tuesday that it had filed a formal ethics complaint against Waters.

Ms. Waters’ conduct surely does not reflect creditably on the House,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

“By encouraging violence in response to a ‘guilty’ jury verdict, she seeks to undermine the Constitution’s guarantees and protections, and fosters the breakdown of civil society,” he added. “Such dangerous and reckless rhetoric demands investigation.

Fitton said that the behavior represented “a pattern of conduct” after Waters’s past remarks telling supporters to physically confront Republicans in the Trump administration. 

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them,” Waters said at a June 2018 rally. “And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.”

In the face of the recent criticism, Waters remained unrepentant, accusing critics of bullying her and suggesting that “white supremacy” was the underlying motive.

“I am not intimidated,” she said. “I am not afraid, and I do what needs to be done.”

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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