Fox, Newsmax, Taylor Greene and Cruz question jury as conservatives cope with Chauvin murder verdict

Conservatives argue that a Minneapolis jury was intimidated into finding Chauvin guilty

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 21 April 2021 20:36
Tucker Carlson's bizarre response to George Floyd verdict

The verdict, of a kind, is in.

A Minneapolis jury was apparently intimidated into finding Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd for fear of reprisals from BLM mob violence, according to an array of conservative media personalities and lawmakers.

From Newsmax to Fox News, and Marjorie Taylor Greene to Ted Cruz, the so-called party of law and order is questioning whether the criminal justice system is as blind as advertised.

"BLM has now proven itself to be the most powerful domestic terrorists organization in our country. After Maxine Waters threats could there have been any other verdict?" Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted.

Greene suggested the jury was influenced by Ms Waters’ recent comments that protesters should get "more confrontational" if a guilty verdict was not returned.

While trial judge Peter Cahill denied a motion for a mistrial in response to "abhorrent" comments, he conceded Ms Waters gave Chauvin's defence team material that could overturn the conviction on appeal.

Texas senator Ted Cruz roped Joe Biden in with the California Democrat as a reason why Chauvin could eventually evade prison, pointing to the president saying he prayed for "the right verdict".

“Joe Biden decides that Maxine Waters shouldn’t be the only politician foolishly providing grounds for a mistrial or a possible basis on appeal to challenge any guilty conviction,” Mr Cruz said in a tweet.

Among political pundits, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said following the trial that the jury came to the unanimous and unequivocal verdict: "Please don't hurt us".

“The jurors spoke for many in this country; everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case,” he said. “After nearly a year of burning, looting, and murder by BLM, that was never in doubt.”

Over at Newsmax, the competing cable news outlets found something to agree on. Host Rob Schmitt said the former Minneapolis police officer was sacrificed to the mob.

"They say justice is blind. I don't think it was blind in this case at all," Mr Schmitt said.

"I think you have political pressure. I think you have pressure from all these activist groups going into all this. And I think at the end of the day people say, 'You know what? If we acquit this guy, this city is going to burn to the ground.'"

That's why Greg Gutfeld – yes, you read that right – supports the guilty verdict. The Fox anchor/comedian said he was glad Chauvin was found guilty – "even if he might not be guilty on all charges".

"Because I want a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames,” he said.

On Laura Ingraham’s Fox show, guests also suggested the jury was influenced by the fear of violence. But Florida governor and potential 2024 hopeful Ron DeSantis was relatively more circumspect in divining the jury's motivations.

“I don’t know what happened with this verdict, but if that’s something that can potentially happen, where you basically have justice meted out because the jury is scared of what a mob may do, and again I’m not saying that’s what happened here, but that speaker seemed to suggest that had an impact, that’s completely antithetical to the rule of law,” Mr DeSantis said.

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