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Peter Navarro, former Trump adviser, convicted of contempt of Congress

After refusing to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Peter Navarro, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, on Thursday was found guilty on two charges of contempt of Congress. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
After refusing to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Peter Navarro, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, on Thursday was found guilty on two charges of contempt of Congress. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Peter Navarro, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The jury reached its guilty verdict after deliberating for less than five hours in a trial that lasted just one day after jury selection, according to The Hill and CNN. Navarro stood to the side of the defense table as the verdict was read but did not react.

The two charges Navarro had faced were for willfully failing to produce documents sought by members of Congress and for failure to appear for a deposition, both of which he was required to do by a congressional subpoena.

Stanley Woodward, Navarro's attorney, claimed in the trial that prosecutors had failed to prove his client had failed to comply with the subpoena beyond a reasonable doubt.

"Why didn't the government present evidence about where he was, or what he was doing?" Woodward said. "Something stinks."

Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Prosecutors countered that Navarro knew he had been ordered to appear under the subpoena and that a "good excuse" not to has no effect on the legality of choosing to ignore the subpoena.

"Who cares where he was? What matters is where he wasn't -- and he wasn't in that room to take his deposition," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said, according to The Hill. "He wasn't where he was legally required to be."

Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Navarro's defense team was barred by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta from arguing that executive privilege had been invoked, which could have possibly allowed him not to comply with the subpoena.

Mehta had ruled that "there was no formal invocation of executive privilege" by Trump or authorization to Navarro to involve the privilege on Trump's behalf. The jury was prevented from considering executive privilege in its decision.

Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

"The subpoena -- it is not hard to understand," Justice Department attorney Elizabeth Aloi said, according to CNN. She added that Navarro knew "what he was required to do and when he was required to do it."

Navarro's conviction is the second time a Trump adviser has been prosecuted for lack of cooperation with the Jan. 6 committee. Steve Bannon was also convicted on two contempt accounts last year and his case is currently working its way through the appeals process.

Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Peter Navarro, an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was found guilty Thursday on two charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the House committee that investigated the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Sentencing was set for Jan. 12. Navarro said he planned to appeal the verdict.