Navarro alludes to nod from Trump to defy subpoena

“I don’t wish to do this,” Woodward mentioned.

“Then, what do I do?” the choose replied.

Navarro, who was an ally in Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election and orchestrate efforts by congressional Republicans to problem Joe Biden’s victory, contends that Trump privately advised him to claim govt privilege fairly than testify about his contacts with the previous president within the run-up to Jan. 6. The panel needs to interview Navarro about his contacts with Trump amid the previous president’s multifaceted effort to grab a second time period he didn’t win.

Navarro has publicly described growing a technique for Republican members of Congress to problem the election outcomes and assist purchase time to persuade state legislatures to interchange slates of Biden presidential electors with pro-Trump electors. His associate on this technique, longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon, was lately sentenced to a four-month jail time period for his personal conviction on contempt of Congress for equally defying the choose committee.

Whether or not a former president can efficiently assert govt privilege to sideline a congressional inquiry is a comparatively untested authorized query. Whether or not he can achieve this when the sitting president — Biden — has rejected such a declare is even much less more likely to survive a authorized problem. However Mehta mentioned he was struggling to confront the query as a result of he has no proof Trump ever asserted the privilege within the first place.

“You haven’t given me something,” the choose mentioned to Woodward. “The notion {that a} courtroom is meant to learn tea leaves in relation to the invocation of a presidential privilege appears to me to be – I’m mystified by that.”

Woodward mentioned all he might provide was an assurance that Navarro and Trump have been recurrently in contact — and that Navarro believed that’s what Trump wished him to do.

Mehta pressed about who might show that such a dialog occurred.

“Two folks,” Woodward replied – alluding to Navarro and Trump. Along with resisting any effort to hunt Trump’s testimony, Woodward mentioned Navarro was additionally unlikely to testify given his Fifth Modification proper to stay silent throughout his personal felony proceedings.

Woodward additionally urged that two grand jury witnesses — a Trump lawyer whom he didn’t title and Trump marketing campaign spokeswoman Liz Harrington — had confirmed that Trump and Navarro maintained direct communication.

The Trump legal professional, Woodward mentioned, indicated that he didn’t ship a letter to the choose committee on Trump’s behalf as a result of he thought Navarro was already conscious of Trump’s place and will relay it himself. When requested whether or not she believed Trump had asserted privilege of Navarro’s testimony, Harrington advised the grand jury, “I think about so,” Woodward mentioned.

Mehta appeared unlikely to assist Navarro’s effort to dismiss the case however was wrestling with the tangle of imprecise and largely untested precedent and Justice Division opinions associated to congressional subpoenas towards former members of the manager department.

Late within the Friday listening to, Mehta mentioned he’s going to attempt to maintain Navarro’s trial on monitor to start Nov. 16, however that begin is contingent on Mehta wrapping up an excellent higher-profile trial for members of the Oath Keepers associated to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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