Attorney Lawyer David Schoen Lays Out Key Differences In Contempt Cases


Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Former President Donald Trump’s former impeachment lawyer, David Schoen, explained the key differences between Peter Navarro’s contempt of Congress case and Steve Bannon’s, who Schoen also represents.

Navarro, a former trade advisor to Trump, was sentenced Thursday to four months in jail and ordered to pay a $9,500 fine after failing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee. The Department of Justice (DOJ) previously sought a six month jail sentence and a $200,000 fine for Navarro. Navarro was indicted in June of 2022. Navarro argued he had executive privilege and therefore did not have to comply with the subpoena.

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon was convicted in October of 2022 after also defying a subpoena related to the Jan. 6 investigation. Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison but has appealed the ruling.

Schoen explained that while Navarro and Bannon were convicted under the same statute, the cases do not have the same facts, and Navarro may have a “tougher” time appealing his ruling.

“Judge Mehta found that Navarro, despite being asked repeatedly to prove it, never proved when or where or how executive privilege was invoked, and that’s the key to Steve Bannon’s case, a key to Steve Bannon’s case,” Schoen said. “Also, Navarro didn’t have the defense of ‘reliance on the advice of counsel.’ Steve Bannon’s lawyer told him he was not permitted as a matter of law to respond to the subpoena for a number of reasons. But I think that the — ultimately, the main underlying issue is the question of ‘willfully’ under this contempt of Congress statute, and as the judge in Steve Bannon’s case said, he said specifically, he believes Steve Bannon’s conviction will be overturned because he thinks previous law on that issue is simply mistaken and Steve Bannon was entitled to put the issue willfully before the jury.”

“I think Navarro has a tougher case,” Schoen added. (RELATED: Hunter Biden, House Republicans Agree To Congressional Deposition)

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta said the phrase “executive privilege” is not a “magical incantation” or a “get out of jail free card” to defy a subpoena, according to NBC News.

“What I find disappointing is that in all of this, even today, there’s little acknowledgement of what your obligation is as an American – to cooperate with Congress, to provide them with information that they’re seeking,” Mehta said, according to NBC News. “Fine, you think it’s a political hatchet job, it’s domestic terrorists running the committee. They had a job to do and you made it harder. It’s really that simple.”