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Peter Navarro: Former Trump adviser indicted for contempt of Congress

During a court docket look in Washington, DC, on Friday, Navarro mentioned that he nonetheless desires to characterize himself with no lawyer and accused prosecutors of utilizing “hardball” ways by arresting him at an airport and never permitting him to make a cellphone name.

Navarro mentioned he was arrested at a DC-area airport Friday on his solution to Nashville.

He faces two contempt counts: one for his failure to supply paperwork demanded by the committee and the opposite for failing to point out up for subpoenaed testimony earlier than House investigators.

Navarro had claimed that he was unable to cooperate as a result of former President Donald Trump had asserted government privilege within the matter. The committee had countered these arguments by citing that most of the subjects it wished to debate with him he had already written about in nice element in his ebook.

Navarro is now the second former Trump adviser to be indicted for legal contempt of Congress for defying a January 6 committee subpoena. The first referral from the House, for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was picked up by DOJ and has led to an indictment. He faces a legal trial this summer time. The Department of Justice on Friday knowledgeable the committee that it’ll not indict two different Trump allies referred for prosecution: former White House chief of workers Mark Meadows and ex-deputy chief of workers Dan Scavino.

The Justice Department has come beneath stress for from House Democrats and others on the left for not appearing aggressively sufficient in its January 6 investigation, significantly because it issues the position Trump and his internal circle performed in looking for to overturn the election and in making the mass voter fraud that propelled the violent assault on the Capitol.

There have been current indications, nevertheless, that the division has ramped up its investigation right into a scheme to place ahead fraudulent slates of Trump-supporting electors in states that President Joe Biden received.

At Friday’s court docket look, Judge Zia Faruqui expressed concern about permitting Navarro to characterize himself. “I think it’s important that you have counsel,” the decide advised him.

Navarro mentioned he was OK with the decide appointing counsel “for today” and that he despatched prosecutors an electronic mail with an legal professional contact as they work this out. Navarro, who has a Ph.D in economics, just isn’t an legal professional.

“The arraignment should be postponed for a number of reasons,” Navarro added, requesting that his civil lawsuit towards the House January 6 committee go ahead earlier than any legal proceedings.

The court docket dealing with the civil case has already dinged Navarro for procedural flaws in how he structured the lawsuit.

The Justice Department didn’t request that Navarro be detained and whereas he argued the situations of launch had been too strict — telling Faruqui that he was “no threat to anybody, not a flight risk” — the decide largely disagreed however allowed him to maintain his passport.

Navarro must report back to pretrial companies, should notify pretrial if he’s touring, just isn’t allowed to own firearms or explosives and should get approval for journey exterior the continental US.

His subsequent court docket look is scheduled for June 17.

Focus on non-cooperation

The new prices towards Navarro focus narrowly on his lack of compliance with the House’s investigation.

The subpoena from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia particularly requests “all documents relating to the subpoena dated February 9, 2022, that you received from the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, including but not limited to any communications with former President Trump and/or his counsel or representatives.”

In the indictment, prosecutors cite the repeated rejections Navarro obtained from the committee of his arguments for not complying with the subpoena.

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In a February 27 electronic mail quoted by the indictment, the committee advised Navarro that the committee believed that there have been subjects they may talk about “without any raising executive privilege concerns at all.”

“In any event, you must appear to assert any executive privilege objections on a question-by-question basis during the deposition,” the committee wrote.

When the committee referred Navarro for legal prices earlier this yr, it accused him of creating no effort to adjust to its subpoena request, claiming that he made it clear that he was unable to cooperate as a result of Trump had asserted government privilege within the matter.

Select committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson cited the manager privilege argument throughout Navarro’s contempt listening to.

“They potentially played a part in an attack on American democracy, but they can ignore our investigation because they worked for the government at the time. That’s their argument,” Thompson mentioned on the time, referring to each Navarro and Scavino. “They’re not fooling anybody. They are obligated to comply with our investigation. They have refused to do so. And that’s a crime.”

The committee advised Navarro that there have been a number of matter areas it wished to debate with him that weren’t lined beneath privilege, however Navarro rejected the provide. Navarro additionally requested the committee if the proceedings can be held in public. He finally closed off communication with the committee and referred all questions relating to his cooperation to Trump and his attorneys.

Navarro revealed Monday that he had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors who had been looking for paperwork associated to his choice. Navarro mentioned in an interview with MSNBC Thursday night time that he “responded” to the Justice Department, however he declined to say he can be prepared to show over the paperwork requested by prosecutors.

Threatens retaliation if GOP wins

In the MSNBC interview with Ari Melber, Navarro mentioned he would “lead the charge” to pursue prices towards Biden and main Democrats if Republicans win the White House in 2024.

“You bet your a** that I will lead the charge,” Navarro mentioned. “I will take Adam Schiff and Jamie Raskin and Nancy Pelosi and Rosa DeLauro — all of those clowns and kangaroos — I’ll take Biden and every single senior staff member in there–“

“And do what?” Melber interjected.

“Hit them with subpoenas,” Navarro declared. “We’ll start with the impeachment of Biden for Ukraine, the southern border, all manner of things he is guilty of and we’ll subpoena his senior staff.”

Melber mentioned he wished to get on document whether or not Navarro, if he had been to return to a place of authority in a Republican administration, would “use the Department of Justice to subpoena Democrats” he does not like.

“I will push as hard as I can to use the same B.S. the Democrats are using now to try to put me in prison for standing up for principle,” Navarro mentioned. “If they want to play that game, we’ll play it right back. They’ll hit us, we hit them back harder. That’s not what I want, Ari. Let me be clear. I do not want that.”

This story has been up to date with extra particulars.

CNN’s Sonnet Swire, Hannah Rabinowitz and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.

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