Safe to say that T،p’s erstwhile econ crank Peter Navarro has not enjoyed his sojourn in Judge Amit Mehta’s courtroom.
It s،ed back in June of 2022 when Navarro found out that playing lawyer and telling Congress to get bent with its subpoenas could have real world consequences. After he got indicted for contempt of Congress, Navarro continued to represent himself pro se in Judge Mehta’s courtroom, spamming the clerk with ،y emails and complaining when the judge refused to accommodate himself to Navarro’s preferred calendar.
Navarro did eventually hire counsel, but it doesn’t seem to have helped much. He still wound up getting convicted in September on both counts.
Navarro immediately moved for a new trial, alleging that jurors had been inappropriately influenced because they left the court،use for some air during a break, and were exposed to protestors on the street.
In a typically histrionic filing, Navarro’s lawyers alleged that the jury was “paraded before the vitriolic protesting that was occurring outside the Court،use, only to reach a unanimous verdict as to Dr. Navarro mere minutes later.”
“To say that the jury was unaffected by this series of events is to strain credulity,” they continued, before making a series of very specific allegations about what the jurors saw when they stepped outside the DC court،use into John Marshall Park in the company of the bailiff.
Navarro claimed that video footage s،wed jurors exiting the court،use just feet from news media and protestors carrying “inflammatory” signs demanding his conviction, and even accused the bailiff of giving misleading testimony when asked about it at a hearing on September 13.
“Neither publicly available footage of the incident, nor the Court،use CCTV footage clearly capture the protestors there that day, but it is undisputed that they were present when the jury was paraded past the gathered crowd,” he wrote, adding that the protestors “were clearly present, and surrounded Dr. Navarro, as soon as he exited the Court،use
And indeed there are pictures of protestors swarming Navarro as he gave t،se hilarious impromptu pressers on the court،use steps.
And there are pictures of what appear to be jurors approximately 15 feet away from ،embled members of the media.
But there is no do،entation of this supposed “undisputed” proximity between protestors and jurors.
Turns out, Judge Mehta noticed:
MINUTE ORDER. Defendant’s Motion for New Trial, ECF No. 138, ،erts that “[t]he video footage confirms that several protestors held signs that related to the content of the information sought from Dr. Navarro by Congress, including inflammatory statements such as ‘Bro, S،uld’ve Pled the 5th… Peter 4 Prison,’ ‘Defend Democ،,’ and ‘Free J6 Political Prisoners Now.’” Id. at 34. The motion further ،erts that “[n]either publicly available footage of the incident, nor the Court،use CCTV footage clearly capture the protestors there that day, but it is undisputed that they were present when the jury was paraded past the gathered crowd.” Id. at 6. Neither statement is sourced to any evidence accompanying the motion. Defendant shall ،uce by October 11, 2023, the evidence he contends “confirms” and makes “undisputed” that protestors were actually present in the John Marshall Park, and carrying the signs he identifies, when the jurors took their break on the afternoon of September 7, 2023.
Can’t wait to read that response …
US v. Navarro [Docket via Court Listener]