With his trial scheduled to start on Monday, former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro was given a reprieve in federal court on Friday to allow his lawyers to bolster their claims of executive privilege.
CNN is reporting that attorneys for the former Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under Trump were given a hand to firm up their case while prosecutors were instructed to dig deeper into guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel on if Navarro is exempt from prosecution for defying a congressional subpoena.
During the time before both sides need to report back to the court, the former White House officials have to weigh the risks of putting him on the stand if the trial proceeds.
As CNN's Tierney Sneed reported, "With the questions [US District Judge Amit] Mehta is raising about executive privilege, the Justice Department has been put on the spot to clarify its murky interpretations about the scope of presidential immunity."
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"On Friday, prosecutors Elizabeth Aloi and John Crabb tried to skirt around Mehta’s hypotheticals about whether such an immunity would have applied to Navarro had he been given a directive, at the time House January 6 committee demanded his participation in its probe, and that Trump was invoking privilege in response to the subpoena," the CNN report states.
Mehta admonished the prosecutors that “it seems to me you ought to have some pretty clear lines before you prosecute someone.”
The judge later added, "You can’t ask someone to parse these OLC opinions the way that you’re suggesting.”
Of concern to Navarro's lawyers, should the trial move on with Mehta's approval, is whether they will allow their client -- known for his outbursts -- to take the stand in his defense.
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"Even as they welcomed the delay and the opportunity for more briefing, Navarro’s lawyers were vague on what kind of evidence they would seek to present if given the chance to raise the defense that there had been an invocation of privilege," Sneed reported.
Navarro attorney Stan Woodward reportedly expressed reservations and refused to say if he would call his client to testify, "given the risks that would come with a cross-examination from prosecutors," and joked he would be “... calling my malpractice carrier before I put Navarro on the stand.”