Trump adviser Peter Navarro pleads not guilty in contempt case

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Former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro pleaded not guilty on Friday to contempt of Congress charges after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

Navarro, 72, appeared in federal court in Washington to be arraigned on the two-count indictment.

On his way into court, he told waiting journalists: ‘All will be revealed.’

He was charged with one contempt count for failing to appear for a deposition before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack and a second charge for failing to produce documents requested by the committee.

The indictment describes how he wrote a book after leaving the White House in which he set out the plan to delay Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory known as ‘Green Bay Sweep.’

He said the plan was the ‘last, best chance to snatch a stolen election from the Democrats’ jaws of deceit,’ according to the indictment.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta scheduled a trial for November.

Navarro’s lawyers asked for the trial to be held in April next year, saying the case presented constitutional and legal questions that need to be litigated.

And they said he would be on a book tour later in the year.

But Mehta rejected their arguments.

‘I just don’t think it’s in the public interest to wait till April,’ he said.

Navarro had originally represented himself in court, but appeared with lawyers on Friday.

Outside the court he said that ‘being put in leg irons and having people wanting to put me in prison’ had changed his view about needing legal representation.

It comes after Navarro had already described having trouble assembling a legal team.

‘Clearly, the prosecution’s strategy is to take advantage of an individual without adequate representation,’ he wrote to the court last week.

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‘At this point, I am very actively seeking a legal team but am facing a number of hurdles.’

The next paragraph was redacted in a public copy of the filing.

‘My very freedom here is at stake and I ask for the court’s understanding that it will take time both to find the appropriate representation and time to develop an appropriate legal strategy,’ he said.

‘In the meantime, I ask for the requested extension and further request that the prosecution stand down on further motions designed to exploit my lack of representation until I secure representation.’

Navarro has argued that the select committee investigating the attack is unlawful and therefore a subpoena it issued to him in February is unenforceable under law.

Navarro is the second former Trump Aide to face a criminal trial for ignoring a subpoena to provide evidence to a House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Bannon is due to go on trial next month.

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