A former top adviser to former US President Donald Trump has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the House of Representatives committee investigating last year's attack on the US Capitol building by supporters of Mr Trump.

The US Justice Department said a federal grand jury charged Peter Navarro with one count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition before the 6 January Select Committee and another for his refusal to produce documents in response to a subpoena.

Mr Navarro, 72, did not enter a plea at his 72-minute hearing before Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The former Trump adviser accused the Justice Department of "prosecutorial misconduct" for arresting him at a local airport as he tried to depart on a trip to Nashville and New York.

He said authorities ignored his request for them to contact an attorney and refused to allow him to make a phone call during his arrest.

He told the judge: "I am … disappointed in our republic." His next court appearance was set for 17 June.

A long-time China hawk, Mr Navarro advised Mr Trump on trade issues and also served on his Covid-19 task force.

He has contended previously that his communications are protected by executive privilege, a legal principle protecting a president's communications.

His indictment came a week before the committee is due on 9 June to hold the first in a series of public hearings on its investigation.

It came two days after Mr Navarro filed a civil lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the committee.

Mr Trump has urged associates not to cooperate with the Democratic-led investigation, calling it politically motivated.

In its subpoena, the committee said it had reason to believe that Mr Navarro had information relevant to its investigation.

He has said in media interviews and in his book that he helped coordinate an effort - known as the "Green Bay Sweep" - to halt certification of Joe Biden's victory and keep Mr Trump in power.

If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison on each count and fines.

He also faces fines but a court-appointed attorney disputed a Department of Justice assertion that he could be fined as much as $100,000 on each count, arguing instead that the maximum penalty should be $1,000.

Mr Navarro argued at length for delaying the criminal proceedings and instead moving forward with his civil suit against the committee, arguing that the case against him stems from collusion between the Justice Department, Congress and the Biden White House.

Mr Navarro is the second prominent Trump adviser to face criminal charges in the investigation.

Stephen Bannon, at one time the chief strategist for the former Republican president, was criminally charged in November for defying a subpoena.