Another Trump Goon Heading To Criminal Trial After Judge Rejects Last-Minute Arguments

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On Wednesday, federal Judge Amit Mehta decided to send Trump ally and former aide Peter Navarro to trial on criminal charges for contempt of Congress. These allegations from federal prosecutors stem from Navarro’s refusals towards the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot and key circumstances leading up to it, like the months of promotion from former President Donald Trump and allies of his of election lies.

Mehta rejected arguments that would have taken a claimed assertion of executive privilege from Trump over Navarro’s January 6 committee testimony to effectively block criminal consequences for not complying. The judge wasn’t convinced Trump had demonstrably invoked legitimate executive privilege at all, as relayed by journalist Kyle Cheney. Cheney noted Mehta rejected the notion a privilege claim from Trump over Navarro’s testimony to a different committee would suffice, also finding issue with Navarro’s claim of a February 2022 phone conversation with the former president in which Trump made such an assertion. Associated documentation wasn’t available.

“There was no formal invocation of executive privilege by [Trump] after personal consideration nor authorization to Mr. Navarro to invoke privilege on his behalf,” Mehta said, per that reporter. Sources online said that Navarro’s trial — well, the jury selection — will get going on September 5.

Fellow Trump associate Steve Bannon went to trial on substantially similar allegations, and he was sentenced to four months in prison — but Bannon has yet to serve any of this period in detention as his case has gone to appeals. Bannon, though, still also faces criminal proceedings taking place in Manhattan over his involvement in the “We Build The Wall” scheme in which donors were told their funds would be going solely to border wall construction. Donations were alleged to have actually supported Bannon and others.

Trump himself also recently got major trial news with the scheduling of his trial on federal charges of election interference for March 2024 — just before Super Tuesday, the point in the presidential primaries when many nominating convention delegates will be at stake on the same day.