Former President Trump’s commerce adviser Peter Navarro was discovered responsible on Thursday of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the Home of Representatives committee that investigated the 2021 assault on the Capitol.
The 74-year-old economist is well-known in San Diego as a result of he ran unsuccessfully for native and state workplaces 5 instances as a Democrat or unbiased whereas dwelling right here and instructing at UC Irvine.
A 12-member jury discovered Navarro responsible of two counts of contempt after he refused to testify or flip over paperwork to the Democratic-led Home panel that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021 riot by Trump supporters and broader makes an attempt by Trump, a Republican, to reverse his 2020 election defeat.
“The defendant select allegiance to former President Trump over compliance with the subpoena,” federal prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi informed the jurors throughout closing arguments on Thursday. “That’s contempt. That may be a crime.”
The costs carry a minimal of 30 days and a most of 1 yr in jail. A sentencing listening to was scheduled for Jan. 12, 2024.
Navarro is a hawk on China coverage who suggested Trump on commerce points throughout his presidency and likewise served on the COVID-19 job drive. Navarro turned the second shut affiliate of Trump to be convicted for spurning the committee after Steve Bannon was discovered responsible final yr of contempt of Congress for equally defying a subpoena and was sentenced to 4 months in jail. Bannon is now interesting the conviction.
The decision in Navarro’s case in federal court docket in Washington got here after a trial that featured simply in the future of testimony from three prosecution witnesses, former employees members of the choose committee. The protection didn’t name any witnesses or current any proof.
Navarro mentioned forward of trial that he didn’t should adjust to the committee’s demand as a result of Trump invoked govt privilege, a authorized doctrine that shields some govt department data and communications from disclosure.
However U.S. District Choose Amit Mehta dominated that Navarro couldn’t use this as a protection, discovering that the defendant had not put ahead proof that Trump formally invoked govt privilege in response to the subpoena. Protection lawyer Stanley Woodward was left to argue that Navarro’s failure to conform might have been an accident or a mistake.
The decision represented a victory for the Justice Division and the now-defunct choose committee, which moved aggressively to safe testimony from lots of Trump’s high advisers earlier than being disbanded when Republicans took management of the Home in January.
Lots of the committee’s findings have been mirrored in a federal prison indictment obtained by Particular Counsel Jack Smith accusing Trump of making an attempt to subvert the election outcomes, one among 4 prison instances he faces as he runs to regain the presidency in 2024.
The panel sought to interview Navarro a few plan devised by him and different Trump allies, dubbed the “Inexperienced Bay Sweep,” to delay Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. The committee concluded its work final yr with out interviewing Navarro.
Navarro had mentioned publicly that he was defending the presidency by not sharing data with Congress.
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on the day that Congress met to certify Biden’s victory, attacking police and sending lawmakers and others fleeing for security. Trump has made false claims that the election was stolen from him via widespread voting fraud.