The defense called for a mistrial in the Derek Chauvin trial on Monday and–according to the judge–there’s a chance Chauvin might actually get it on appeal.
It’s all thanks to the Democratic representative from California — Maxine Waters.
Indeed, according to Judge Peter Cahill, Rep. Maxine Waters’ statements were so “disrespectful” and “abhorrent” that she may have given Chauvin an argument for an appeal.
The defense moved for a mistrial on Monday, claiming that the media coverage of the George Floyd case was so significant that Chauvin could not get a fair trial.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that the extraordinary level of media attention was “so profound” and “so pervasive” that it was impossible for the jury to have not been tainted by it.
Nelson also referenced Waters’ recent comments over the weekend as she joined a protest in Minneapolis to say that if Chauvin was not convicted, then protestors would have to “get more confrontational.”
Attorney Nelson said it was “mind-boggling,” and that “we have U.S. Representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case.”
Judge Cahill responded by saying, “Well, I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” before adding, “but what’s the state’s position?”
Ultimately, though the judge called Waters comments “abhorrent” and said she was “disrespectful,” he did not believe the issue rose to the level that would require a mistrial, at least in this round.
The jury is currently in deliberations and will decide if Chauvin is criminally responsible for the death of George Floyd. The jury was not sequestered during the trial itself, and will only be sequestered now during deliberations.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked on Monday whether Maxine Waters (D-CA) should apologize for her controversial remarks over the weekend. The Speaker said it’s not necessary. “No, no, I don’t think she should apologize.”
House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, said Monday that he intends to take action against Waters.