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Peter Navarro pleads not guilty to contempt of Congress charges

Navarro is charged with contempt of Congress after failing to appear for testimony or turn over documents in the House select committee’s investigation. While he did not testify, he has done many media appearances and written a book, frequently talking about his conversations with former President Donald Trump and his interest in blocking Trump’s election loss in 2020.

Navarro has another book coming out in September.

If convicted, he would face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one month.

Navarro has also now hired defense lawyers. He had complained he needed time to find a legal team after pledging to represent himself and taking issue with the FBI’s approach to his arrest, which the Justice Department has defended.

His case is the second criminal contempt case behind a similar set of charges the Justice Department has brought against Steve Bannon, another Trump adviser who failed to testify in the House probe.

Bannon’s case is headed to trial next month — and he’s tried to claim the executive privilege surrounding the presidency should shield him from prosecution. Bannon did not work in the administration in 2020 or 2021, while Navarro did, but Navarro’s defense may face similar hurdles as Bannon because Navarro was not one of the closest presidential advisers and has discussed Trump’s post-election efforts publicly before.

Navarro’s attorneys indicated in court on Friday they are closely watching the Bannon case.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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