Trump White House official Navarro was convicted of contempt after defying the House subpoena on Jan. 6 – Twin Cities

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump White House official Peter Navarro was found guilty Thursday of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol to cooperate.

The verdict came after a brief trial against Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump and later promoted the Republican’s baseless claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election, which he lost.

Navarro was the second Trump adviser to be charged with contempt of Congress, following former White House counsel Steve Bannon. Bannon was found guilty on two counts and sentenced to four months in prison, although he remains free pending an appeal.

Navarro vowed to appeal the ruling, saying the “die was cast” after a judge ruled he couldn’t challenge the charges, arguing he couldn’t cooperate with the committee because Trump relied on it I have invoked managerial privilege.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that Navarro did not have enough evidence to show that Trump had relied on it.

“This is a groundbreaking case coming to the Supreme Court,” Navarro said. Defense attorney John Rowley echoed this, saying, “This case is far from over.”

Mehta scheduled Navarro’s sentencing for Jan. 12. Navarro was convicted in federal court in Washington of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, both punishable by up to a year in prison.

The verdict came after the jury deliberated for four hours. After the reading, defense attorney Stanley Woodward asked for a mistrial, saying jurors took an outdoor break near where protesters and media regularly gather outside the courthouse and returned shortly after with a verdict. Mehta did not rule immediately but said he would consider written arguments on the matter.

Prosecutors argued in court that Navarro acted as if he was “above the law” when he defied a subpoena for documents and House committee testimony on Jan. 6.

A defense attorney countered that Navarro did not intentionally ignore the Jan. 6 House committee. Instead, Navarro told employees to contact Trump to learn what might be protected by executive privilege, but that didn’t happen, Woodward said.

But prosecutors argued that even if Trump had invoked executive privilege, Navarro should have turned over as much material as possible and flagged any questions or documents believed to be protected. They said much of the material sought by the committee was already in the public domain.

“Peter Navarro made a choice. He chose not to comply with the congressional subpoena,” said prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi. “The defendant chose loyalty to former President Donald Trump over compliance with the subpoena.”

The defense was not allowed to invoke the managerial privilege argument at trial, arguing that Navarro did not act “intentionally” or solely out of loyalty to Trump.

“Do we know that his undoubted non-compliance was not the result of an accident, carelessness or error?” Woodward said.

The House Jan. 6 Committee concluded its work in January after a final report alleged that Trump criminally engaged in a “multipart conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election and failed to take action to stop a mob of his supporters from attacking the Capitol.

Trump, meanwhile, faces a federal indictment in Washington, D.C., and a federal indictment in Georgia over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. He has denied wrongdoing and said he acted within the law. Trump White House official Navarro was convicted of contempt after defying the House subpoena on Jan. 6 – Twin Cities

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