(CNN) President Joe Biden, breaking his careful silence about the eventual outcome in the trial of Derek Chauvin, said Tuesday he was “praying the verdict is the right verdict” and suggested there was ample evidence for the jury to consider as they determine whether the former Minneapolis police officer is guilty of murdering George Floyd.
“It’s overwhelming, in my view,” Biden said in the Oval Office, where he was meeting with Hispanic lawmakers. “I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered.”
Biden has called Floyd’s death a tragedy but has avoided until now weighing in on a potential verdict, wary of appearing to influence an ongoing legal proceeding. Past presidents have also usually avoided signaling whether they believe high-profile defendants are guilty.
Biden did not explicitly say Chauvin should be convicted, but his nod to the verdict represents a shift in his rhetoric surrounding the case. A day earlier, the judge in the case cautioned elected officials on voicing their opinions in the trial.