Peter Navarro, a former White House adviser to Trump, was charged Friday with contempt after a House subcommittee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol disobeyed.
Navarro is the second former Trump adviser to be charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to assist in the investigation of the January 6, 2021 attack. A few months after his arrest, Steve Bannon, a former White House aide.
Navarro, 72, was charged with one count of contempt for failing to appear before a House committee for a statement. The second allegation is that you failed to provide the committee with the required documents. He was arrested by federal agents on Friday morning and was due to appear in federal court in Washington later in the afternoon.
The indictment confirms that the judiciary is pursuing criminal charges against Trump’s allies who have tried to block or stone down congressional investigators investigating the country’s most serious attack on democracy in decades.
The judiciary and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been pressured to decide whether to follow other Trump advisers who have disobeyed House subpoena.
The indictment alleges that when Navarro was asked to make a statement before the committee, he refused and instead told the panel that he had “tied my hands” because Trump had called for executive privileges.
Allegedly, after committee staff assured him he could discuss executive privilege issues without raising them, Navarro again refused, directing the committee to deal directly with Trump’s lawyers. On March 2, the committee made its scheduled statement, but Navarro did not appear.
The allegations come just days after Navarro announced in court that he had been summoned to testify before a grand jury this week as part of a broader judicial investigation into the Capitol incident.
Navarro, who served as Trump’s trade adviser, said the FBI last week issued a subpoena at his home in Washington, D.C. Subpona was the first documented instance where prosecutors sought testimony from a Trump White House official as part of an investigation into the attack.
In his lawsuit filed Tuesday, Navarro argued that the House Select Committee investigating the attack was unconstitutional, and that a subpoena issued to him in February was consequently unworkable.
He has sued members of the committee, as well as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, whose office is currently prosecuting him in a criminal case.
Navarro told the Associated Press this week that the scope of his case was wider than that of the subpotas and that it was part of a larger effort to “resolve a number of issues arising out of the Supreme Court’s congressional investigative power.” Since Trump took power.
Members of the election committee wanted Navarro to testify about his public efforts to help Trump win the 2020 presidential election, including a phone call to try to get state legislators to join him.
A White House aide who backed Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud was a former economics professor. In December 2020, he issued a report stating that there was evidence of alleged abuse.
In April, Navarro and fellow Trump ally Dan Scavino were insulted by Congress for refusing to participate in the committee. At this point, the judiciary has not indicted Scavino.
According to committee members, Scavino and Navarro were among the few who declined subpoena for the committee’s request and information.
The panel has spoken to more than 1,000 witnesses about the mutiny and is preparing for a series of hearings that will begin next week.
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