Peter Navarro heads to trial with gutted defense and mounting bills

Peter Navarro, a former top adviser to former President Donald Trump, is headed to trial this fall with a gutted legal defense team and mounting bills for his legal defense. Experienced an accomplished attorneys he had relied on for more than a year have largely abandoned his case over what they say are his refusal to pay mounting legal fees.


Navarro is charged with obstruction of justice, making false statements to the FBI and lying to Congress as part of the investigation into the 2020 election. Navarro has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

Navarro had hired Washington D.C. attorney Robert Kelner and Maryland attorney Andrew White to represent him in the case. However, the pair filed a motion in January asking the court to allow them to withdraw, citing “irreconcilable differences” between them and their client. They argued that Navarro “refused to pay legal fees for services already rendered,” and that they had repeatedly asked for payment over the course of more than a year. A ruling from the judge overseeing the case is still pending.

In the intervening months, Navarro has assembled a new legal team, which includes lawyers from Texas and Florida, as well as former federal prosecutor and defense attorney Sidney Powell. Despite the fresh faces, his defense is weakened by the lack of experience in white-collar cases and limited resources. Navarro also faces very steep technical and practical obstacles – including the sheer volume of evidence and need to effectively challenge the government’s legal claims.

Navarro’s trial is set to begin on October 11, but he faces a difficult road ahead without a team of seasoned attorneys in his corner. With his trial rapidly approaching, he has only a few months to prepare for what could be a lengthy and complicated legal battle.

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