Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro’s contempt of Congress trial begins in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Navarro faces two contempt of Congress charges connected to not complying with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Jurors for the trial in front of U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta were selected Tuesday.
Navarro pleaded not guilty to the charges and argued former President Trump invoked executive privilege that barred him from cooperating with the subpoena. However, he lost a fight over whether he could use executive privilege as a defense in his trial.
In pre-trial hearings last week, Mehta called Navarro’s arguments “pretty weak sauce” and ruled he failed to prove Trump had invoked the privilege of his office.
“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.
The counts the former presidential advisor faces are punishable by up to 30 days or up to one year in prison.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Navarro said that even before the trial started, he had “been stripped of most of the possible defenses in this case” and predicted his case would end up before the Supreme Court.
He has also said that he will rack up more than $1 million in legal bills on the case, including the trial, and has set up a website to help raise money for his defense.
Navarro showed up to court Wednesday carrying a large picture of Trump saluting troops in a bomber jacket.
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