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Ex-Trump Aide Peter Navarro to Face Trial Over Defiance of Jan. 6 Panel

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For weeks after the 2020 election had been known as, Peter Navarro, a White Home adviser to President Donald J. Trump, labored carefully with different senior aides to maintain Mr. Trump in energy for a second time period.

After being subpoenaed final 12 months by the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, which sought to study extra about these efforts, Mr. Navarro refused to conform, insisting that Mr. Trump had directed him to not cooperate and dismissing the subpoena as “unlawful” and “unenforceable.”

Now, after greater than a 12 months of authorized wrangling, Mr. Navarro, 74, will defend these claims in a trial that begins Tuesday, when jury choice is predicted to start in Federal District Courtroom in Washington. The case facilities on a comparatively easy query: whether or not he confirmed contempt for Congress in defying the Home committee’s request for paperwork and testimony.

The trial itself could also be comparatively quick, and if Mr. Navarro had been to be convicted on the 2 counts of contempt of Congress he’s charged with, he might resist a 12 months in jail and a effective of as much as $100,000 for every depend.

Since Mr. Navarro was indicted in June of final 12 months, he has maintained that he’s protected by the previous president’s declare of government privilege.

Prosecutors intend to argue that Mr. Navarro refused of his personal volition and that neither Mr. Trump nor his attorneys have confirmed whether or not Mr. Navarro sought or acquired his approval.

The decide within the case, Amit P. Mehta, has already dealt a blow to Mr. Navarro, ruling that he can’t depend on government privilege as a pillar of his protection. He refused to dismiss the case after concluding that Mr. Navarro had failed to provide convincing proof that he and Mr. Trump ever mentioned his response to Congress.

Describing Mr. Navarro’s protection as “fairly weak sauce,” Choose Mehta emphasised that he had introduced no written communications or perhaps a “smoke sign” that will bolster his competition.

“I nonetheless don’t know what the president mentioned,” Choose Mehta mentioned. “I don’t have any phrases from the previous president.”

“I don’t suppose anybody would disagree that we want there was extra right here from President Trump,” Mr. Navarro’s lawyer, Stanley Woodward Jr., replied.

Nonetheless, outdoors of courtroom, Mr. Navarro has continued to border the case as a elementary dispute between the legislative and government branches, calling the struggle over government privilege “open questions” within the regulation and pledging to attraction.

Mr. Navarro is one in all two Trump aides to face legal prices after the Home committee’s investigation. Stephen Okay. Bannon, one other of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers, was convicted final summer time on two counts of contempt of Congress and sentenced to 4 months in jail.

After the 2020 election, Mr. Bannon and Mr. Navarro concocted a plan, often called the Inexperienced Bay Sweep, aimed toward delaying certification of the end result of the election. The technique concerned persuading Republican lawmakers to halt the counting of Electoral School votes on Jan. 6 by repeatedly difficult the ends in numerous swing states.

When the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault issued a subpoena, Mr. Bannon equally refused to conform.

Others in Mr. Trump’s interior circle had been much less combative in resisting the panel’s efforts.

Two of Mr. Trump’s advisers, Roger J. Stone Jr. and Michael T. Flynn, in the end appeared earlier than the committee however declined to reply most of its questions by citing their Fifth Modification rights towards self-incrimination. Mr. Trump’s remaining chief of workers, Mark Meadows, and his deputy, Dan Scavino, negotiated the phrases of their responses to subpoenas, offering paperwork however not testimony. Not one of the 4 males confronted legal prices.

The submitting of prices towards Mr. Navarro was extensively seen as proof that the Justice Division was prepared to behave aggressively towards one in all Mr. Trump’s prime allies because the Home scrutinized the actions of the previous president and his advisers and aides within the occasions main as much as and through the Capitol assault.

The trial might additionally shed new gentle on Mr. Navarro’s communications with the White Home at key moments throughout Mr. Trump’s remaining days in energy.

One attainable witness for the protection is Liz Harrington, a communication aide for Mr. Trump who helped unfold false claims of election irregularities within the months after the 2020 election. Ms. Harrington had been set to testify final week about Mr. Navarro’s claims of government privilege, however might as a substitute present written testimony in regards to the extent of Mr. Navarro’s contact with Mr. Trump and his aides.

Alan Feuer contributed reporting.

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