Former Trump White House aide Peter Navarro charged with contempt of Congress

Ex-trade adviser did not comply with subpoena from House Jan. 6 committee

Peter Navarro, right, a White House trade adviser under then-President Donald Trump, speaks at a press briefing on March 27, 2020. A grand jury indicted Navarro on Thursday for not cooperating with the Jan. 6 select committee. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Peter Navarro, right, a White House trade adviser under then-President Donald Trump, speaks at a press briefing on March 27, 2020. A grand jury indicted Navarro on Thursday for not cooperating with the Jan. 6 select committee. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Posted June 3, 2022 at 12:50pm

Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro is facing criminal charges after a federal grand jury indicted him on two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The indictment, handed down on Thursday and unsealed Friday, charges Navarro, 72, with one count of contempt for refusing to appear for a deposition and another for refusing to produce documents demanded by the House panel. 

The House voted in April to hold Navarro — and another former Trump White House adviser, Dan Scavino — in contempt of Congress. The indictment comes as the committee is set to hold a hearing June 9 to begin publicly disclosing details of what it has uncovered about the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

[Jan. 6 panel won’t get all it seeks for public hearings this month]

Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump, was of interest to the committee because he circulated a plan intended to delay certification of the Electoral College votes and send them back to state legislatures. That notion was also promoted by Trump lawyer John Eastman.

In a book he released in 2021, Navarro discussed that plan, known as the “Green Bay Sweep,” to try convincing then-Vice President Mike Pence to delay certification of the Electoral College votes and instead kick them to the state legislatures. 

Navarro said in his book that Trump was supportive of the plan, as were more than 100 members of Congress.

Navarro also issued a report in the month before the insurrection on purported election fraud with three chapters: “The Immaculate Deception,” “The Art of the Steal,” and “Yes, President Trump Won.” That report makes voter fraud claims and was shared with then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Eastman. 

Meadows was held in contempt by Congress but has not been indicted. Steve Bannon, who served in the Trump White House but was a private citizen leading up to and during the Jan. 6 insurrection, was indicted on two counts of contempt and is set to begin his criminal trial later this summer.

Each count Navarro faces carries a maximum of one year in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000.