Federal prosecutors have requested a gag order against Peter Navaro, as the former Trump White House adviser faces criminal contempt of Congress charges for refusing a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.
The prosecutors say they want to ensure Mr. Navarro does not share discovery evidence with the public as he prepares his defense. They said it could create a “carnival atmosphere.”
“The defendant’s extrajudicial statements … demonstrate a substantial risk that, without a protective order, the defendant will use non-public discovery for improper purposes instead of to prepare the defense he plans to present before this court,” the prosecutors wrote.
Mr. Navarro, who was indicted by a grand jury last week, has objected to the FBI’s handling of his arrest which was carried out at Reagan National Airport in Washington. He said the public arrest was a punitive measure.
On Wednesday, Mr. Navarro also said he is at a disadvantage because does not have the means to retain a lawyer.
“Clearly, the prosecution’s strategy is to take advantage of an individual without adequate representation,” Mr. Navarro wrote in a letter to D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta on Wednesday.
Mr. Navarro was indicted on two counts of contempt stemming from his refusal to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, which is investigating the Capitol riot.
He was charged with one count of contempt for failing to appear for a deposition and one count for his refusal to produce documents to the Democrat-led panel, despite being subpoenaed by the committee.
Shortly after Mr. Navarro was indicted, the Justice Department declined to indict former Trump White House officials Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino after both men were found in contempt of Congress by the committee.
All three former officials refused to comply fully with the committee’s probe citing the former president’s claims of executive privilege, which former President Donald Trump asserted in a lawsuit to block the release of White House documents to the committee.
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has also been indicted on criminal contempt of Congress charges for bucking the committee’s demands.
Mr. Bannon’s trial is scheduled to begin next month. He has pleaded not guilty.