(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump has come to the aid of Peter Navarro as his one-time trade adviser moves closer to facing a jury trial for defying a congressional subpoena.
Trump is claiming that his communications with Navarro during his presidency were protected by executive privilege, according to a letter included in a filing by Navarro’s attorneys on Tuesday. Trump’s lawyer wrote in the letter dated Jan. 23 that Navarro “had an obligation to assert executive privilege” when responding to a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee that investigated the Capitol riot.
The letter is part of an effort by Navarro’s lawyers to try to convince US District Court Judge Amit Mehta to reconsider his refusal to dismiss the criminal contempt case. Mehta ruled last week that Navarro had failed to offer evidence to back up his claim the Trump had asserted privilege. In his ruling, Mehta said Navarro had failed to offer “a sworn affidavit nor testimony from him or the former President.”
The government charged Navarro with two counts of contempt for failing to hand over documents and provide testimony to the committee.
Trump sent a letter ahead of his former aide Steve Bannon’s criminal contempt trial, stating that the former president was waiving executive privilege so the former adviser could testify to the committee. Bannon was convicted by a jury and sentenced in October to four months in prison. His sentence is on hold while he appeals.
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