Former Trump White House Adviser Found Guilty of Contempt of Congress

Former Trump White House Adviser Found Guilty of Contempt of Congress – On Thursday, a White House adviser to Donald Trump was found guilty of contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with an inquiry into the tragic January 6 assault on the US Capitol. Peter Navarro, a former senior trade adviser in the Trump administration who had propagated unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud, was found guilty in the federal courthouse in Washington following a brief trial.

He was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, each carrying a potential sentence of up to one year in prison. Judge Amit Mehta has set Navarro’s sentencing for January 12. In February 2022, Navarro was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, disrupting the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. 

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The committee believed he might possess pertinent information regarding the connection between these claims and the Capitol attack. However, Navarro did not provide any emails, reports, or notes. When the committee requested his testimony, he did not appear. Navarro’s defense attorney, Stanley Woodward, informed the jury that Navarro did communicate with committee staffers but requested them to consult with Trump to determine which information fell under executive privilege. 

However, this consultation never occurred. On the other hand, prosecutors argued that Navarro should have shared any available material and indicated any questions or documents that might be protected by executive privilege. They contended that much of the sought-after material was already publicly accessible. “Peter Navarro made a choice. He chose not to abide by the congressional subpoena,” prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi said. 

“The defendant chose allegiance to former president Donald Trump over compliance to the subpoena.” Navarro, a former economics professor, was the second Trump aide to face criminal charges after refusing to cooperate with the House committee. Steve Bannon, who served intermittently as a White House adviser and is known for his staunch far-right stance, was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress. 

He received a four-month prison sentence and has remained free while appealing the verdict. Following Navarro’s conviction on Thursday, his attorney, Woodward, requested a mistrial, citing concerns that the jurors took an outdoor break in an area frequented by protesters and media outside the courthouse and returned with a verdict shortly after. Judge Mehta did not make an immediate ruling but stated that he would evaluate written arguments on the matter.

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In January, the House January 6 committee concluded its investigation, asserting that Trump was criminally involved in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the legitimate outcomes of the 2020 election and failed to intervene to prevent his supporters from assaulting the Capitol. Additionally, the US Justice Department has filed four criminal charges against Trump concerning his efforts to undermine the election. Furthermore, he is confronted with 13 state-level charges in Georgia, all connected to election interference.

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