Judge Rejects Peter Navarro’s Request to Stay Out of Prison During Appeal of Contempt of Congress Case

Judge denies Peter Navarro’s bid to remain out of prison while appealing contempt of Congress case

Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro spoke to the media as he departed the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024.

Navarro, convicted of contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, was sentenced to four months behind bars.

A federal judge rejected Navarro’s request to remain free while he appeals his conviction for contempt of Congress. This conviction stemmed from his refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump, had asked to be released pending appeal, but U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta denied the request. Mehta stated that Navarro must begin serving his sentence unless the federal appeals court intervenes to halt the order.

Judge Rejects Peter Navarro's Request to Stay Out of Prison During Appeal of Contempt of Congress Case
Judge Rejects Peter Navarro’s Request to Stay Out of Prison During Appeal of Contempt of Congress Case (Credits: Sourh China Morning)

Navarro was sentenced last month to four months in prison after being found guilty of defying a subpoena issued by the House Jan. 6 Committee, which demanded documents and a deposition. Despite his claims of political bias driving his prosecution, the judge found Navarro’s arguments lacking in evidence.

Navarro contended that he couldn’t cooperate with the committee due to Trump’s invocation of executive privilege. However, the judge ruled that Navarro failed to demonstrate that Trump had indeed invoked executive privilege, thus disallowing Navarro from using this argument in his defense.

Navarro is the second Trump aide to be convicted of contempt of Congress charges related to the Jan. 6 investigation. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon also received a four-month sentence but remains free pending appeal.

The House committee conducted an extensive 18-month investigation into the insurrection, interviewing over 1,000 witnesses, conducting 10 hearings, and obtaining more than 1 million pages of documents.

In its final report, the committee concluded that Trump was criminally involved in a conspiracy to overturn the election results and failed to act to prevent his supporters from storming the Capitol.

Trump, who leads the Republican presidential primary, faces criminal charges filed by special counsel Jack Smith, alleging he conspired to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. Trump denies any wrongdoing and claims the case is politically motivated.

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