President Joe Biden on Tuesday weighed in on the Minneapolis case for former police officer Derek Chauvin – on trial for the 2020 death during an arrest of George Floyd – saying the jury needs to reach the “right” verdict.
“The evidence is overwhelming,” he said.
However, his press secretary said that he wasn’t really weighing in on the case.
Jen Psaki was asked, with the fact that Biden has talked about the importance of an independent judiciary, why would he comment on what the jury now is considering in the case.
Psaki said, “I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict…”
To which a reporter responded, “He did call for the ‘right verdict,’ though.”
Q: @JoeBiden has talked about the importance of an independent judiciary, why is it appropriate for him to weigh in on the Chauvin verdict?@PressSec: “I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict…”
Reporter: “He did call for the ‘right verdict,’ though.” pic.twitter.com/iyjJO8RRTJ
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 20, 2021
The president had said, “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. Which is – I think it’s overwhelming in my view.”
The Daily Mail posted a headline stating, based on Biden’s comments, “JOE: CHAUVIN IS GUILTY.”
Biden said he wouldn’t have commented except that “the jury was sequestered now.”
Which led, eventually, to Psaki’s denial that Biden was seeking a particular verdict.
“He was conveying what many people are feeling across the country, which is compassion for the family,” she said.
After the verdict, she said, is when Biden could have more to say.
“I expect that he will weigh in more, further, once there is a verdict and I’m not going to provide additional analysis on what he meant,” Psaki said.
She explained Biden has followed the trial closely, and called George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, on Monday.
The Mail reported, “The president’s comments also come amid growing anger among Republicans for Rep. Maxine Waters’ calling for Chauvin to be found guilty and for Black Lives Matter protesters to be ‘more confrontational’.”
The White House has stood by Waters’ rant, with Psaki stating, “The congresswoman has provided further clarification of her own remarks and I would certainly point you to that.”
Psaki also said Biden wants “peace” after the trial verdict.
“He also understands this is an extremely painful moment for many people in this country who are exhausted, who are tired of seeing one person after another lose their life at the hands of law enforcement. He’s aware of that and the need for reform,” she said.
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