After a judge denied his request to delay the proceedings so that he could promote his new book, former Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro was ordered to stand trial in November on criminal contempt of Congress charges for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee.
Judge Amit Mehta decided it was not “in the public interest” to postpone Navarro’s trial until next year, as he had sought, and set a date for him in federal court in Washington on Nov. 17.
Peter Navarro pleaded not guilty to two grounds of contempt of Congress for ignoring subpoenas for testimony and records issued by a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol.
Peter Navarro’s Request Has Been Denied
Peter Navarro’s newly hired counsel had requested that the trial be postponed because Navarro is promoting a book that will be released in September and will keep him on the road until December. He planned to launch a “major marketing effort” for the book in August, according to them.
The request was “totally unnecessary,” prosecutor Amanda Vaughn told the judge, adding the DOJ was concerned about delaying a criminal trial for a book tour. Peter Navarro’s attorneys informed the judge that they needed more time to evaluate the case’s “complex legal difficulties.”
However, Mehta disagreed with the need for extra time. “It’s not a particularly difficult case,” he explained. Following a criminal referral from the House of Representatives for his refusal to comply with the committee’s subpoenas, Navarro, 72, was indicted by a federal grand jury on contempt charges this month.
Peter Navarro told reporters that he didn’t think he had to reply because the panel is a “fake committee” and that he can’t be forced to testify or turn over papers because he was working on behalf of then-President Donald Trump and is shielded by executive privilege.
The committee has stated that executive privilege does not apply to Navarro and that it needs information from him since he was a major figure “in the ex-campaign president’s to reverse the 2020 election.”
Peter Navarro also attempted to withdraw a civil suit he filed against the House committee soon before his detention, arguing that the subpoenas issued against him should be thrown in part due to his executive privilege grounds