Former Trump advisor Peter Navarro was criticized after his failed attempt to grab a protest sign held by a demonstrator outside the courthouse where his trial for contempt of Congress was set to begin.
Navarro's frustration stemmed from a recent ruling against his claim of executive privilege in relation to his conversations with former President Donald Trump regarding the 2020 election.
The incident unfolded against the backdrop of Navarro's indictment for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol complex.
You can watch footage of the moment below.
Navarro had claimed that conversations between him and former President Trump were protected under executive privilege. However, Judge Amit Mehta ruled against this assertion, calling it "pretty weak sauce." Mehta stated that Navarro had not provided specific evidence to support his executive privilege claim, leading to the rejection of this defense.
His frustration came to the fore when he encountered a demonstrator holding a sign that read "Trump Lost." The woman strategically positioned the sign to be visible to news cameras.
Navarro attempted to grab the sign from the protester, which resulted in an awkward and unsuccessful altercation. The incident was captured on video and circulated widely on social media platforms.
Navarro engaged in a heated exchange with the protester and admonished her for "disrupting" the proceedings:
“This is the problem we have in America. Like, she’s got, ‘Trump Lost,’ and, you know, that’s fine. She’s expressing her point of view."
"She’s got a megaphone to disrupt. But when it comes time for me to express my view with you, you’ve seen what she’s done. She’s interrupted me while I was speaking. And she won’t even let an American show the American flag.”
"Shame on you, ma'am."
His attempt to snatch the sign out of her hands seemed at odds with his supposed respect for her right to express her views, however.
But the protester didn't flinch, even responding to his botched attempt to silence her:
“Bro, you’re already facing charges. Go on and commit another crime."
The video of Navarro's failed attempt to grab the protest sign out of the protester's hands gained significant traction on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He was immediately mocked after the footage went viral.
Navarro cannot be forced to testify after failing to comply with a subpoena from the House Committee that was tasked with investigating the insurrection of January 6, the day a mob of Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol on the false premise the 2020 election had been stolen.
The Committee finished its work last year, releasing a comprehensive report that examined and ultimately blamed Trump's behavior—and that of his associates—for inciting a riot that left five people dead and resulted in thousands in damages.
However, Navarro can still be held in contempt of Congress, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.