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Ex-Trump Adviser Cites George Washington as He Heads to Prison

Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro reported to prison Tuesday afternoon to serve a four-month federal sentence after being convicted on charges of contempt of Congress in January.

Ahead of his surrender, Navarro, who served as Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under Trump, held a press conference in Miami before turning himself in. He spoke of his incarceration in historical terms, invoking George Washington before heading to the slammer.

“This is not about me,” Navarro said. “One of the big stories is about what is really an unprecedented assault on the constitutional separation of powers, and the doctrine of executive privilege — as a critical tool dating back to George Washington — of effective presidential decision making. When I walk into that prison today, the justice system, such as it is will have done a crippling blow to the constitutional separation of powers and executive privilege.”

In 2022, Navarro defied a subpoena from Congress ordering him to testify before the Jan. 6 committee. Former White House Advisor Steve Bannon was also convicted for a similar subversion of congressional authority. Navarro spoke to Rolling Stone about he and Bannon’s plan to help Trump overturn the 2020 election results, lamenting that it was foiled by the violent attack on the Capitol.

“Can Congress compel a senior White House advisor — what they call the alter ego of a president — to testify before Congress?” he continued to reporters on Tuesday. “Executive privilege goes back to George Washington and his remarks to the Congress regarding the J. Treaty. He said simply and clearly, succinctly, elegantly […] to the congress he said ‘I cannot command you as members of Congress to come to me. You cannot command me to come to you.’ And the reason is the constitution and the separation of powers.”

As pointed out by the notorious Trump sycophants at Fox News — who in a rare moment cut away from the press conference to fact-check Navarro — there is actually no constitutional provision of executive privilege that would have exempted him from testifying before Congress.

All things considered, Navarro’s pre-slammer presser was a far more subdued event than the diatribe he delivered following his arrest. At the time, the former Trump adviser called the charges against him “terrorism,” and accused the Biden administration of operating under policies akin to “Stalinist Russia.”

Hours before his surrender, Navarro continued to profess his innocence, calling himself “the first senior white house advisor in the history of our republic that has ever been charged with this alleged crime.”

As Fox News pointed out, the crime is no longer alleged given that Navarro has been convicted.

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