Navarro indicted for contempt of Congress after defying Jan. 6 panel subpoena

Source: Politico | June 3, 2022 | Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu

After Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election and subsequent false election fraud claims, Peter Navarro started spearheading efforts to overturn the election.

The Justice Department has indicted Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to Donald Trump, for contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee.

After Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, Navarro became an early advocate for the former president’s false claims of widespread election fraud and spearheaded efforts to overturn the election. He’s been charged with two counts of contempt, each of which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

The committee subpoenaed Navarro in February and he tersely refused to comply, claiming sweeping executive privilege over his efforts. Navarro did not immediately respond to several requests for comment.

The indictment marks the first criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 investigation against a person who was serving in Trump’s White House during the former president’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Steve Bannon, who left the White House in 2017 and similarly refused to comply with a select committee subpoena, was charged last year with two counts of contempt. He is set to go on trial in July.

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The case will be overseen by Judge Amit Mehta, who is also presiding over two other crucial Jan. 6 cases: the seditious conspiracy trial against leaders of the Oath Keepers and a sprawling series of civil lawsuits against Trump filed by members of Congress and Capitol Police officers. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Aloi and Molly Gaston are handling the case for DOJ. Amanda Vaughn, the lead prosecutor in the Bannon case, is also listed among the prosecutors.

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