Peter Navarro is convicted of contempt

September 8, 2023

Peter Navarro, the advisor to former President Donald Trump, has been convicted of contempt of Congress. 

The conviction, according to Fox News, came on Thursday, after a brief trial was held in Washington, D.C.'s, federal courthouse.

Navarro has yet to be sentenced. He is facing a term of imprisonment of up to one year as well as a fine of up to $100,000. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Jan. 12, 2023.

Navarro has already indicated that he will appeal the guilty verdict.

What is going on?

The contempt of Congress charge stems from Navarro's refusal to cooperate with the highly partisan, Democrat-led House committee that "investigated" the Capitol protest of Jan. 6, 2021.

The committee subpoenaed Navarro, the Trump administration's director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, in February 2022. The committee wanted Navarro to provide both testimony and documents in relation to their "investigation." The committee specifically subpoenaed Navarro after he published a memoir in which he wrote about his efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Navarro, however, refused to comply with the select committee's subpoena. Instead, he argued that, through Trump, he was protected by executive privilege. This is what led to the contempt of Congress charge.

Navarro was found guilty of the charge this week after a two-day trial. The jury deliberated for less than four hours before issuing its verdict.

Significant is the fact that the judge did not allow Navarro to argue that he was protected by executive privilege. This made the prosecution's case significantly easier to prove. As NPR reports:

Because Navarro couldn't make the argument about executive privilege, the prosecution only had to prove that the former aide received the subpoena, that the information the committee sought was relevant to its investigation and that Navarro intentionally chose not to adhere to subpoena's demands.

"This is going to the Supreme Court"

Navarro, after the guilty verdict, spoke with reporters outside of the courthouse. There, he made it clear that he will appeal the conviction.

"We knew going in what the verdict was going to be. That is why this is going to the appeals court," Navarro said, adding, "And we feel – look, I said from the beginning this is going to the Supreme Court. I said from the beginning I’m willing to go to prison to settle this issue, I’m willing to do that."

Trump, at the time of this writing, has not commented on Navarro's conviction.

Navarro told reporters, "President Trump has been a rock in terms of assistance."

It is unclear when the appeal will be heard.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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