The federal judge who oversaw Peter Navarro’s criminal contempt of Congress trial is being asked to consider a mistrial on Wednesday.
Navarro’s attorneys argue that jurors may have seen political protesters during the deliberations when they took a break outdoors shortly before announcing they had reached a verdict, saying it may be grounds for a mistrial.
Jurors deliberated for just a few hours before reaching the pair of guilty verdicts in the case, but during their deliberations they took a brief break outside the courthouse, a period in which some of them were around a “number” of January 6-related protesters demonstrating and chanting outside of the building, defense attorney Stan Woodward told US District Judge Amit Mehta last week.
One of those signs read “Defend Democracy.” It’s unclear why Navarro’s attorneys would think a call to defend democracy would bias jurors against Navarro.
A security officer who accompanied jurors on their break is expected to be called to testify at Wednesday’s hearing.