Peter Navarro, former adviser of then U.S. President Donald Trump, was on Thursday found guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from a House panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, reported Xinhua.
Navarro, 74, who was director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under the Trump presidency, was convicted on one count over his refusal to appear for a deposition in front of the select committee, and another count for refusing to produce documents.
The judge has scheduled his sentencing for Jan. 12.
Navarro could face a maximum of two years in jail and fines up to 200,000 U.S. dollars, U.S. media reported.
He is the former president's second ex-aide to be prosecuted for his lack of cooperation with the select committee following Steve Bannon, who was convicted last year on two contempt counts and has been on appeal since then.
During closing arguments Thursday, Justice Department attorney Elizabeth Aloi said that the government only works if people play by the rules and are held accountable if they don't.
Navarro "made a choice" not to comply with a February 2022 subpoena though he knew "what he was required to do and when he was required to do it," Aloi told the jury.
Navarro's attorney Stanley Woodward argued that the subpoena did not specify where in the Capitol complex Navarro was supposed to show up and prosecutors failed to prove that Navarro was willful in his failure to comply with the subpoena.
Woodward also said that Navarro told the committee that "his hands were tied" and claimed executive privilege.
"To cite the privilege, he had to do it on a question-by-question basis," lead prosecutor John Crabb said. "That was made clear to Mr. Navarro. He didn't show up."