Joe Biden 'Praying' for 'Right Verdict' in Derek Chauvin Trial

President Joe Biden says he's "praying" for the "right verdict" as the jury continues to deliberate former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's fate in the death of George Floyd last May.

"I'm praying the verdict is the right verdict—the evidence is overwhelming in my view," Biden told reporters Tuesday, without elaborating on what he believes would constitute the "right" verdict.

Biden spoke to Floyd's family Monday evening, after the jury had been sequestered to begin deliberations.

"They're a good family, and they're calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is," Biden said.

Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death while in police custody. Video that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes went viral last summer, prompting protests throughout the country and calls for police reform.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment to reporters after Biden's remarks to clarify what he thinks the "right verdict" would be in the case.

"The president has clearly been watching the trial closely, as many Americans have been," she said, adding that Biden is expected to address the verdict once it's announced. "I'm not gonna provide additional analysis on what he meant."

Biden faced some pushback from critics who questioned whether his remarks could incite rioting or violent demonstrations if the jury doesn't reach a guilty verdict. But Psaki defended his decision to speak out.

"Regardless of the outcome, the president has consistently called for peace, and our focus, as we're working with state and local authorities, is on providing the space for peaceful protests," Psaki said. "That will be consistent regardless of what the outcome of the verdict is."

On Monday, Judge Peter Cahill admonished Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, for comments she made at a public demonstration in Minnesota before the jury began its deliberations. She urged more protesting if Chauvin is found not guilty, saying, "We've got to get more confrontational, we've got to make sure that they know we mean business."

Cahill said Waters' comments "may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned," but he denied the defense's motion to immediately dismiss the case.

"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function," Cahill said in court, while the jury wasn't in the room.

"I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful...manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government," the judge added.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks before a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on April 20. Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images