Peter Navarro leaves West Wing
White House advisor Peter Navarro leaves the West Wing carrying a poster board displaying claims of voting irregularity. REUTERS/Erin Scott

A former San Diego politician who became a top aide to President Trump pleaded not guilty on Friday to two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, after he refused to provide testimony or documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Peter Navarro, who appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for his arraignment, wrote a book after he left the White House in which he revealed a plan known as the “Green Bay Sweep” to delay Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.

He described the plan as the “last, best chance to snatch a stolen election from the Democrats’ jaws of deceit.”

Navarro, 72, is well known in San Diego because he ran unsuccessfully for local and state offices five times as a Democrat or independent while living here and teaching economics at UC Irvine. He was appointed trade advisor by Trump because of his series of popular books accusing China of unfair trade.

The House Select Committee, which held its third hearing on Thursday afternoon to reveal some of the findings from its investigation, subpoenaed Navarro in February seeking both documents and testimony.

However, he failed to appear for his deposition or communicate in any way with the panel after receiving the subpoena, the indictment against him alleges.

Reuters contributed to this article.

He later told the committee he was unable to comply with its demands, saying Trump had invoked executive privilege, a legal doctrine that shields certain White House communications from disclosure, and that this privilege “is not mine to waive.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.