Federal Judge Amit Mehta has rejected a request from Trump goon Peter Navarro for a 45-day delay of his arraignment and status hearing scheduled for this Friday after his recent indictment on contempt of Congress charges. Mehta also issued a protective order restricting what Navarro can publicly disclose about the case.
A federal judge has rejected Peter Navarro's request for a delayed arraignment and issued a protective order limiting his ability to discuss his Jan. 6 case.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 14, 2022
“The public interest weighs in favor of moving this case forward through its preliminary stages,” Mehta apparently said. “Whether or not counsel enters an appearance, the timing of these proceedings will be based on the factors the court is required to consider, including Defendant’s need for time to prepare his defense and the public interest in bringing this matter to trial.” Navarro evidently wanted an extension so he could find “appropriate representation” as his case moves forward, alongside other concerns he had. But Mehta seemed to indicate that the court would still focus on relevant and necessary factors in setting his case’s schedule, no matter whether Navarro is able to solidify any legal representation — meaning the question of Navarro getting a lawyer doesn’t seem to the crux here. Fairly scheduling his case isn’t dependent on it.
Navarro apparently also sought to get a block on new motions from federal prosecutors during the time of his hoped-for delay — which just sounds ridiculous on its face. Meanwhile, that protective order apparently covers “all materials provided by the United States in preparation” for further proceedings but excludes “documents that are or become part of the public court record.” In other words, it sounds like Navarro is now formally restricted from sharing documents privately provided by federal authorities during the discovery process, if those materials aren’t separately available publicly.
“To be clear, this is not a ‘gag’ order,” Mehta apparently explained. “The protective order does not bar Defendant from making public statements about these proceedings. Rather, the protective order places limits on Defendant’s use of discovery materials produced by the government. Defendant must abide by its terms, absent a modification by the court.” Navarro’s contempt of Congress charges are connected to his refusal to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Capitol riot. It’s certainly noteworthy that the fact Navarro held a formal position in the Trump administration at the time of the Capitol riot — in other words, during the time period most scrutinized by the panel in the House — wasn’t enough to save him from criminal charges. Navarro was an energetic participant in attempts to undercut the 2020 presidential election outcome, meaning Biden’s win.
Although Mehta clarified his protective order didn’t stop Navarro from publicly talking about the case, a Justice Department court filing this month reveals Navarro has apparently repeatedly lied about it. Navarro has alleged that, around the time of his initial arrest, he was denied an opportunity to contact a lawyer and even left without access to food and water — but that’s apparently false, officials reveal. FBI agents who participated in Navarro’s arrest apparently actually offered the opportunity to Navarro of getting in touch with an attorney, and Navarro was also evidently actually offered food.