Peter Navarro, who served as an adviser to former President Donald Trump, was convicted Thursday of two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2020, violence at the U.S. Capitol.
The verdict came after about four hours of deliberations. Navarro, who was a trade adviser to Trump, has become the second top adviser to the former president to be found guilty of contempt for refusing to testify before the House select committee, according to The New York Times.
Steve Bannon, who was a former strategist for Trump, was convicted of the same offense in the summer of 2022, according to the newspaper. He was sentenced to four months in prison. He has been appealing his conviction, which Navarro reportedly intends to do as well.
Prosecutors said Navarro acted like he was “above the law” when he defied a subpoena from the the congressional committee and refused to cooperate, according to The Associated Press.
“The defendant, Peter Navarro, made a choice,” prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi said, according to the Times. “He didn’t want to comply and produce documents, and he didn’t want to testify, so he didn’t.”
Navarro’s defense attorney, Stanley Woodward, claimed that his client didn’t ignore the subpoena for documents and a deposition from the House select committee on purpose, the AP reported. Instead, he reportedly told staffers to contact Trump to see what “might be protected by executive privilege.” Woodward argued that did not happen.
A judge ruled that executive privilege was not something that Navarro could use as a defense against the charges.
Navarro was indicted last June on two charges for failing to appear for a deposition and refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena, according to the Times. According to the AP, both charges are punishable by up to a year in prison.
Navarro’s sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 12, according to the AP.