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Friday, April 12, 2024

Trump White House Official Peter Navarro Convicted of Contempt of Congress

'The defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over compliance to the subpoena...'

(Headline USA) Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to President Donald Trump, was convicted Thursday of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked Star Chamber investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising at the U.S. Capitol.

It marked the latest in a growing list of examples of flagrant abuse in a two-tiered justice system that has systemically absolved Democrats for their egregious criminal conduct while inventing crimes to wage lawfare attacks against their conservative political rivals.

The two cases of contempt of Congress brough forth by the illegitimate Jan. 6 Committee marked the first time in roughly four decades that any such cases had been prosecuted by the Justice Department, despite recent examples including Lois Lerner, Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton, all of whom brazenly disregarded congressional subpoenas during the Obama administration.

Navarro was the second Trump aide to face contempt of Congress charges after former White House adviser Steve Bannon. Bannon was convicted of two counts and was sentenced to four months behind bars, though he has been free pending appeal.

Judge Amit Mehta scheduled Navarro’s sentencing for Jan. 12. He was convicted in Washington’s federal courthouse of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, both punishable by up to a year behind bars.

Defense attorney Stanley Woodward moved for a mistrial, saying that the jurors had taken an outdoor break near where protesters and media regularly gather outside the courthouse and came back with a verdict shortly after. Mehta did not immediately rule, but said he would consider written arguments on the issue.

Prosecutors said Navarro acted as if he were “above the law” when he defied a subpoena for documents and a deposition from the House Jan. 6 committee.

A defense attorney argued Navarro didn’t purposely ignore the House Jan. 6 Committee. Navarro instead told staffers to contact Trump about what might be protected by executive privilege, something that didn’t happen, Woodward argued.

At the time, Trump was challenging the House’s right to issue sweeping subpoenas, although the case later failed, with corrupt, socialist D.C. Judge Tanya Chutkan opining from the bench that “Presidents are not kings.”

Although Chutkan’s November 2021 decree paved the way for the lawfare attack on Bannon and Navarro, Woodward nonetheless argued that prosecutors hadn’t proven that Navarro acted “willfully” or only out of loyalty to Trump.

“Do we know that his failure to comply beyond reasonable doubt wasn’t the result of accident, inadvertence or mistake?” he said.

Prosecutors countered that Navarro should have handed over what material he could and flagged any questions or documents believed to be protected under executive privilege. They said much of the material the committee sought was already publicly available.

“Peter Navarro made a choice. He chose not abide by the congressional subpoena,” prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi said. “The defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over compliance to the subpoena.”

Trump currently faces a federal indictment in Washington, D.C., and a state indictment in Georgia over his efforts to challenge the highly disputed 2020 election outcome. He has denied wrongdoing and has said he was acting within the law.

The House Jan. 6 committee finished its work in January, after a final report that said Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election and failed to act to stop a mob of his supporters from attacking the Capitol.

More than 1,000 other political dissidents have been charged, most of them convicted of crimes such as parading in a restricted zone and given draconian sentences by far-left idealogues including Chutkan. Trump and several other Republican candidates have pledged to pardon them if elected president in the 2024 race.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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