Supreme Court won't release Peter Navarro from prison while his appeal goes forward

 April 30, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to grant former Trump adviser Peter Navarro release from prison while he pursues an appeal of his conviction for contempt of Congress.

Navarro is serving a four-month sentence for two counts of refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Democrat-controlled House Select Committee investigating January 6, 2021.

The court also declined in March to stay his jail sentence until he could appeal the conviction. By the time his appeal is heard in July, he will have completed his sentence already.

Navarro is confined to an 80-person dormitory for older inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute in Miami. He is 74.

First official to serve time for contempt

He is the first government official to get jail time for contempt of Congress, although he is not the first to be convicted.

That would be Steve Bannon, who has not gone to jail yet because his judge suspended his sentence until after the appeal is heard.

Navarro said he refused because he believed he was bound by executive immunity, but the judge said he never invoked that immunity.

In his appeal, he said his prosecution violated the separation of powers doctrine, and that his appeal will raise questions that have never before been answered.

He could still get a reversal of his conviction and his record expunged if the appeal is successful, even though he already served his time.

Was Trump more egregious?

Some of the reason for these first-time convictions and jail sentences is that the Justice Department has never before decided to prosecute former officials on such minor charges as contempt of Congress.

There has been a long-standing sentiment that presidential administrations deserve respect and protection from being prosecuted over policy differences and for doing their jobs as they saw fit.

That all ended with Trump, who now faces 88 such charges, mostly minor ones that no court would have bothered to bring against a former president until now.

Prosecutors want us to believe that Trump was way more egregious than any other former president and deserves to be charged, but was he really more egregious than Richard Nixon, who never faced any charges for what he did in Watergate?

In reality, it's the partisan nature of today's political landscape that has led to these charges, and nothing more. Navarro, Bannon and potentially a whole host of others are nothing more than collateral damage that partisan leftists hope will scare away everyone else who even thinks about connecting themselves with Trump.

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