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Trump’s right-hand man arrested and charged for defying Jan 6 insurrection probers

Trump aides
Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro (rear) was arrested when the FBI swooped as he was about to board a plane. Photo: Getty
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Former top adviser to ex-President Donald Trump, Peter Navarro has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the committee investigating the US Capitol attack.

A federal grand jury charged Navarro with one count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition before the January 6 Select Committee and another for his refusal to produce documents in response to a subpoena.

Navarro did not enter a plea at his hearing in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The former Trump adviser accused the Justrice Department of “prosecutorial misconduct” for arresting him at a local airport as he tried to depart on a trip to Nashville and New York.

“I am … disappointed in our republic,” he told the judge. His next court appearance was set for June 17.

Navarro’s indictment came a week before the committee is due on June 9 to hold the first in a series of public hearings on its investigation.

He faces up to a year in prison on each count, if convicted.

Stephen Bannon, at one time the chief strategist for the former Republican president, was criminally charged in November for defying a subpoena.

The Democratic-controlled House recommended the contempt charges in April for Navarro and Daniel Scavino, a former deputy chief of staff to Trump. In December, the chamber voted in favour of a contempt charge for Mark Meadows, a former House member who became Trump’s chief of staff.

The Justice Department has not acted on the referrals for Meadows or Scavino.

The New York Times reported late on Friday that the Justice Department has decided against charging Meadows and Scavino with contempt of Congress. The newspaper cited people familiar with the matter and a letter it reviewed from a prosecutor informing the House general counsel of the decision.

The Select Committee has been investigating the assault by thousands of Trump supporters, as Vice-President Mike Pence and lawmakers gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

-AAP