Peter Navarro: Ex-Trump adviser sentenced for contempt of Congress

Connie Queline

Peter Navarro: Ex-Trump adviser sentenced for contempt of Congress

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Peter Navarro, a former senior trade adviser to Donald Trump, has been sentenced to four months in prison for contempt of Congress.

Navarro was convicted in September after he ignored a subpoena from a House committee investigating alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Federal prosecutors said he “chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law”.

They said he deserved a “severe punishment”.

Navarro, 74, had been facing up to one year in prison for each of the two misdemeanour contempt charges.

In a sentencing memo earlier this month, prosecutors argued that Navarro, “like the rioters at the Capitol, put politics, not country, first, and stonewalled Congress’s investigation”.

He was served with a subpoena by a US House of Representatives select committee in February 2022.

But he did not hand over any of the requested emails or documents or appear to testify before the Democratic-led panel.

He was found guilty by the 12-member jury after four hours of deliberations, following a trial in Washington DC that lasted two days.

Navarro’s lawyers have appealed the conviction, and in their own sentencing memo to the judge this month, argued that he is not “an insurrectionist” and should serve no more than six months of probation.

His lawyers also requested a mistrial, alleging that jurors went outside court during their deliberations and encountered protesters.

But Judge Amit Mehta turned down the mistrial request last week.

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In his 2021 book, In Trump Time, Navarro said he was the architect of a strategy to challenge the 2020 election results, claiming widespread voter fraud.

The plan was for congressional Republicans to delay certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Navarro called this strategy the Green Bay Sweep, a reference to a tactic in American football.

The House committee said Navarro’s claims of massive ballot fraud had been exposed as baseless by state and local officials.

When contacted by the committee, Navarro said Mr Trump had instructed him to cite executive privilege. This is a legal principle that allows certain White House communications to be kept under wraps.

But the judge ruled that there was no evidence that Mr Trump had requested that, or that executive privilege could have permitted Navarro to ignore the committee’s summons.

His case has parallels with another Trump aide who was convicted of defying the 6 January committee.

Former Trump campaign strategist Steve Bannon was convicted of two counts of contempt for refusing the House committee’s legal summons in July 2022.

Bannon was sentenced to four months in jail, but has remained free while his defence team appeals the conviction.

Related Topics

  • US Capitol riots
  • Donald Trump
  • US politics
  • United States


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