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Judge denies ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro’s request for new trial in contempt of Congress case

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(NEW YORK) — A federal judge has denied former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro’s request for a new trial after he was convicted of ignoring a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.

Navarro argued that the jury that found him guilty of contempt of Congress may have been influenced by protesters outside the courthouse when the jurors exited the building for a break before returning a verdict.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said that while there were demonstrators outside the courthouse, they did not have direct contact with the jurors.

“The evidence establishes that the jurors only interacted with each other and [Court Security Officer] Torres in John Marshall Park,” Mehta wrote in his ruling. “No one directed any words or displayed any signs at them.”

“Defendant not only fails to demonstrate prejudice, he has not shown that any juror was actually exposed to any improper external influence,” Mehta ruled.

Navarro was found guilty of contempt of Congress last September, for defying a subpoena issued in February 2022 by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

The former Trump adviser was convicted on one count over his refusal to appear for a deposition in front of the committee, and on a second count for refusing to produce documents.

Navarro’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 25.

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