(WASHINGTON) — The judge overseeing Peter Navarro’s contempt of Congress case ruled in a pre-trial hearing Wednesday that the former Trump adviser “has not met his burden” to show a formal assertion of executive privilege by former president Donald Trump.
Navarro will stand trial on criminal contempt of Congress next week for defying subpoenas issued to him by the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In a lengthy ruling, Judge Amit Mehta said that Navarro did not provide evidence that Trump asserted executive privilege specific to the Jan 6. committee’s subpoena.
Mehta said that Navarro’s claim that he spoke to Trump on February 20, 2022, at which time “Trump clearly invoked executive privilege,” provided no specific evidence that Trump had indeed done so.
Mehta added that in the “two key pieces of evidence” Navarro presented — a letter from Trump attorney Evan Corcoran and Navarro’s own testimony — there was “again” no formal indication that Trump had invoked executive privilege.
The letter from Corcoran, which Mehta found to be “the most compelling evidence,” still did not explicitly state that Trump invoked executive privilege, the judge said.
Navarro’s trial is scheduled to start Sept. 5.
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