Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to Donald Trump, was convicted of contempt of Congress on Thursday, for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
He is the second former Trump aide to be prosecuted for his lack of cooperation with the committee after Steve Bannon was convicted last year. Navarro’s lawyers have sought a mistrial, alleging that jurors may have been influenced by protesters who gathered outside the courthouse during the trial. US District Judge Amit Mehta has not yet ruled on the motion.
The judgment date for Navarro is January 12, 2024. A subpoena issued in February 2022 was ignored by Navarro, according to prosecutors’ closing statements on Thursday. However, there is no clarity on his sentencing. Elizabeth Aloi, lawyer for the Justice Department, said that for governments to work, people must abide by the law and be held responsible when they do not.
As reported by CNN, Aloi in a statement said, “The subpoena – it is not hard to understand, and he knew what he was required to do and when he was required to do it.”
The defense lawyer for Navarro, Stanley Woodward, disputed the idea that the subpoena was simple. He said that it was unclear where exactly Navarro was supposed to show up for his deposition within the Capitol building.
Additionally, Woodward argued that the prosecution’s case did not contain enough proof that Navarro purposefully disobeyed the subpoena. He claimed that it had not been determined whether Navarro’s non-compliance was due to an oversight or an accident.
Woodward also notified the court that the defense was requesting a mistrial after the jury was expelled. He explained that they had learned that just before rendering the verdict, the jury had taken a break outside. They were surrounded by a “number” of protesters connected to the January 6 events who were demonstrating and yelling outside the court during this break.