By Tierney Sneed and Hanna Rabinowitz | CNN
Former Donald Trump commerce adviser Peter Navarro has been convicted of contempt of Congress for not complying to a subpoena from the Home choose committee investigating the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol.
Navarro is the second ex-aide to former President Donald Trump to be prosecuted for his lack of cooperation with the committee. Steve Bannon was convicted final 12 months on two contempt counts. Bannon’s case is at the moment on attraction.
Prosecutors instructed the jury throughout closing arguments Thursday that Navarro “made a alternative” to not adjust to a February 2022 subpoena.
Justice Division legal professional Elizabeth Aloi stated that authorities solely works if individuals play by the foundations and are held accountable in the event that they don’t.
“The subpoena – it isn’t exhausting to grasp,” she stated, including that Navarro knew “what he was required to do and when he was required to do it.”
Navarro’s legal professional Stanley Woodward contested the concept that the subpoena was easy, staying that the subpoena didn’t specify the place within the Capitol complicated Navarro was supposed to indicate up for his deposition.
He additionally stated that prosecutors did not show that Navarro was willful in his failure to adjust to the subpoena, arguing that prosecutors hadn’t established that his non-compliance with the demand for testimony was not the results of a mistake or accident.
“Why didn’t the federal government current proof to you about the place Dr. Navarro was or what he was doing” on the day of the scheduled deposition, Woodward requested the jury. “One thing stinks.”
Prosecutor John Crabb responded: “Who cares the place he was. What issues is the place he wasn’t.”
Crabb repeatedly referred to Navarro as “that man’ whereas pointing to him, telling the jury at one level, “that man thinks he’s above the legislation.”
The gestures elicited robust reactions from Navarro, who at occasions threw up his hand, shook his head or laughed. Woodward ultimately jumped up and whispered to his consumer, and the 2 stood quietly collectively for the rest of the continuing.
The jury was attentive throughout closing arguments, watching rigorously as attorneys offered their closing case. Navarro stood instantly throughout the room along with his fingers clasped and stared at jurors intently.
Fast transferring trial with restricted protection
Navarro joined the Trump White Home to advise on commerce and have become a well known face of the Trump administration, whereas incomes a popularity for sparring behind the scenes along with his White Home colleagues.
He performed a outstanding function within the administration’s Covid-19 response as effectively. He led a number of the efforts to hurry up the deployment of medical provides and likewise was a defender of fringe Trump views concerning the virus, together with the previous president’s advocacy of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine.
Navarro was nonetheless working on the White Home within the interval after the 2020 election and misplaced a pre-trial battle to argue to the jury that Trump asserted an government privilege that shielded him from the subpoena, and he and his attorneys have signaled that, if convicted, he’ll elevate that and different authorized points on attraction.
“So right now’s ‘Judgment Day,’” Navarro instructed reporters as he walked into the courthouse Thursday.
“I’ve been stripped, stripped of nearly each protection by the court docket and but there may be some protection left and the truth right here is the federal government has not proved his case,” he stated. “Please perceive that the Biden-weaponized Division of Justice is the most important legislation agency on the earth. That’s what I’m combating towards.”
The trial itself moved ahead this week with notable velocity and ease. It took lower than a day for the jury to listen to all of the proof within the case.
Prosecutors put simply three witnesses on the stand, all former employees members of the Home January 6 committee. The Justice Division used their testimony to make the case that the committee had good cause to subpoena Navarro and that he was knowledgeable repeatedly of its calls for.
In her closing argument, prosecutor Aloi instructed the jury that Navarro “had data a few plan to delay the actions of Congress on January 6.”
“The defendant was very happy to share that data” in tv interviews and in different public remarks, Aloi stated, “besides to the congressional committee that would do one thing about” stopping a future assault.
Woodward sought to color the point out concerning the assault on the Capitol and the disruption of the peaceable switch of energy as a distraction.
“This case will not be about what occurred on January 6,” Woodward stated in his closing argument.
Navarro’s protection workforce engaged in solely temporary cross examination, questioning simply one of many authorities’s witnesses. His attorneys had been targeted on the component of the cost that requires a exhibiting that Navarro was willful and deliberate in his choice to not adjust to the subpoena – which means that his lack of compliance was not the results of an inadvertent mistake or accident.
The protection didn’t placed on any witnesses of their very own, having deserted a plan to name an FBI agent who labored on the Justice Division probe into Navarro for questioning on the shortage of DOJ investigating into Navarro’s whereabouts on the day his committee deposition was scheduled.
A number of sources of authorized bother for the previous Trump aide
Navarro’s service as a Trump White Home aide has generated persevering with authorized troubles for the previous commerce adviser – troubles that transcend the prison case.
The Justice Division introduced a civil lawsuit towards him to acquire authorities information from Navarro’s private e mail account that had been withheld from the Nationwide Archives upon his departure from authorities. He has appealed the ruling towards him in that case.