Biden stuns political, legal experts by weighing in on Derek Chauvin verdict before jury makes decision

Biden stuns political, legal experts by weighing in on Derek Chauvin verdict before jury makes decision

President Biden said Monday that he hopes the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial returns the “right verdict” but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden doesn’t see that as “weighing in.” Experts in politics and the law disagree.

“I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict,” Psaki said.

The president said on Monday: “I’m hoping that the decision is correct. Which is to say, I believe it is overwhelming.”

Some people were surprised to hear a sitting president weigh in before a decision was made.

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto wrote on Twitter, “This is a remarkable statement from a sitting president on a criminal trial currently underway,”

“This is highly irresponsible of Biden to say,” Washington Examiner commentary writer Tiana Lowe wrote. “I’m saying this as someone who believes Chauvin should be convicted for manslaughter and 3rd-degree murder.” “Elected officials should not be weighing into an ongoing trial, especially one where the “wrong” verdict will result in mass chaos.”

Biden chose to speak out after the jury had been sequestered, according to Psaki, and the jury is currently deliberating a verdict. Biden had previously stated that if the jury was not sequestered, he would not make the remarks.

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The president spoke with reporters at the White House about his phone call with the family of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota who died after being seen on video saying “I can’t breathe” as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck while handcuffed. Last spring and summer, his death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality against minorities and systemic racism.
In Floyd’s death, Chauvin was charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. All three charges were dismissed after he entered a not guilty plea.

According to Psaki, the president “Although he has no desire to influence, he has been moved by the impact on the family. As a result, he called his family and had that conversation yesterday. I’m sure he’ll have more to say once the decision is made.”

The judge in the Chauvin trial said on Monday that he wished elected officials would stop bringing up the case “especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law” so that the judicial process could proceed as planned.

Judge Peter Cahill was referring to remarks made by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters over the weekend, in which she urged Minnesota protesters to “stay in the street” and “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is not found guilty.

Waters has “provided further clarification of her own remarks.” according to Psaki, who declined to comment on her remarks. In an interview with The Grio, Waters stated that she is a “non-violent person” who is unconcerned about Republicans attempting to “distort” her words.