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Ethics Complaint Filed against Maxine Waters for Incitement

Judicial Watch today announced it filed a complaint with the chairman of the House Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) for violating House ethics rules by encouraging violence and attempting to intimidate the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

The complaint argues that Rep. Maxine Waters encouraged violence by urging protestors to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is found not guilty. She told the crowd:

Well, we’ve got to stay on the street and 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.

Judicial Watch notes that Waters’ statements seem to be in violation of House ethics rules that require members to conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

In the complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics chairman, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton writes:

Ms. Waters took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, which includes the rights accorded to Officer Chauvin to a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his peers and to due process. Ms. Waters’ inflammatory comments that pressure the jury, while encouraging rioters already engaged in rampant destruction of property and attacks on police officers, to “get more confrontational” are irresponsible and dangerous incitement by a Member of Congress.  

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House Rule 23, Clause 1, of the Code of Official Conduct of the Rules of the House of Representatives states: “A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

Ms. Waters’ conduct surely does not reflect creditably on the House. 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. Such dangerous and reckless rhetoric demands investigation.

More disturbingly still, this behavior by Rep. Waters represents a pattern of conduct. In June 2018, Ms. Waters exhorted protesters to form “crowds” to “push back” on President Trump’s cabinet members, saying, “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! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.”

That reprehensible conduct prompted Judicial Watch to file an earlier complaint with OCE, which has been inexcusably ignored.

Rep. Maxine Waters’ comments, in the least, fall under the expansive standard for “incitement” set by the House in its snap impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Judicial Watch calls upon the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into Ms. Waters’ comments immediately. 

“Rep. Maxine Waters not only incited violence, she is also attempting to subvert the legal system by intimidating the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Maxine Waters is a repeat offender and it is urgent that the House Ethics Committee quickly acts to hold her accountable.”

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In June 2018, Judicial Watch filed a House ethics complaint against Waters for inciting violence and assaults on former-President Trump’s cabinet.

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