Peter Navarro, Donald Trump’s former White House trade adviser, was found guilty Thursday of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In reality, this was a pretty black-and-white case: Did Navarro refuse to comply with the Congressional subpoena? Yes, he did. Case closed.
Breaking News: Peter Navarro, an adviser to Donald Trump, was convicted of contempt of Congress over his defiance of a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 panel. https://t.co/B8gVlsDFcs
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 7, 2023
From the New York Times:
The rapid pace of the trial reflected, in part, the fact that the case turned on a straightforward question: whether Mr. Navarro willfully defied lawmakers in flouting a subpoena.
Even before the trial began, Judge Amit P. Mehta, who presided over the case, dealt a blow to Mr. Navarro by ruling that he could not use in court what he has publicly cast as his principal defense: that Mr. Trump personally directed him not to cooperate and that he was protected by his claims of executive privilege.
The verdict comes after more than a year of legal wrangling over whether Mr. Navarro could cite executive privilege at a time when Mr. Trump was no longer president.
Two other Trump advisers, Roger Stone Jr. and Michael Flynn, chose to appear before the committee but answered most of questions by citing their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Navarro could have taken the same route, but didn’t. #F*ckedAroundFoundOut
He now faces up to a year in prison for each of today’s convictions and a fine of up to $100,000. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January.
Stephen Bannon, another former strategist for Trump, was convicted of the same offense last summer. He was sentenced to four months in prison and is appealing his conviction.
Navarro’s day kept getting worse when he tried to speak outside the courthouse after the verdict.
The bane of Peter Navarro's existence shows up yet again after he was found guilty of contempt of Congress, causing his post-verdict presser to quickly go off the rails.
"That man just assaulted me. He stuck a flag pole up in between my legs! … I want to press charges." pic.twitter.com/TN0Ll0GFty
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 7, 2023