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Deliberations underway in ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro’s contempt of Congress trial

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(WASHINGTON) — Jury deliberations are underway Thursday in the trial of former Trump adviser Peter Navarro on charges of defying a subpoena issued in February 2022 by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Navarro, who under Donald Trump was director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, is being tried on contempt of Congress charges after he was indicted by a grand jury in June.

Prosecutors argued during closing arguments that Navarro’s failure to submit documents and testify before the committee was intentional, while the defense argued that Navarro was “communicative” with the committee despite not testifying or submitting documents.

Navarro’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, said that Navarro told the committee that “his hands were tied” and claimed executive privilege.

During testimony Wednesday, David Buckley, a former staff director for the Jan. 6 committee, told jurors the committee had been seeking to question Navarro about efforts to delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 election, a plan Navarro dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep” in his book, In Trump Time.

Woodward agreed with prosecutors that Navarro did not submit documents or show up for testimony — but, he said, the Jan. 6 committee failed to contact Trump to find out if he had asserted executive privilege over Navarro’s testimony and document production.

Prosecutors argued that Navarro still “had to show up to his deposition.”

“To cite the privilege, he had to do it on a question-by-question basis,” lead prosecutor John Crabb said. “That was made clear to Mr. Navarro. He didn’t show up.”

Navarro faces one count over his refusal to appear for a deposition in front of the committee, and another count for refusing to produce documents. If convicted on both counts, he could face a maximum of two years in prison and fines up to $200,000.

A verdict in the case could come as soon as Thursday afternoon.

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