Peter Navarro trial date set for Tuesday

August 31, 2023

A federal judge in Washington DC has set a trial date for this coming Tuesday for former Trump advisor Peter Navarro related to a subpoena from last year’s House Select January 6 Committee.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta this week rejected an argument from Navarro, a former Trump White House trade advisor, that he could exert executive privilege in ignoring the Congressional subpoena. 

Navarro had told Judge Mehta that on February 20, 2022, 11 days after he was subpoenaed by the committee, he had spoken by phone with former President Trump for three minutes. Navarro testified that during their conversation Trump had made it “very clear” he wanted his former advisor to invoke certain privileges and not respond to the subpoena.

He added that in a subsequent meeting with Trump on April 5 of that year, “there was no question that privilege had been invoked from the get-go.”

On Monday, Mehta refered to Navarro’s recollection of Trump’s invoking executive privilege related to the January 6 subpoena as “nondescript,” and he ruled that the former White House advisor had not met the legal burden of demonstrating that Trump had, in fact, authorized him to assert privilege. 

The Supreme Court has affirmed a former President’s executive privilege, but in cases of dispute between a former and incumbent President, the current occupier of the Oval Office takes precedence. And President Biden has waived executive privilege related to the investigations into the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection as well as the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents.

The January 6 Committee first subpoenaed Navarro for records and testimony in February 2022 as part of its investigation into the insurrection that stemmed from efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory. After he refused to comply with the subpoenas, Navarro was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Each count carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

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