Peter Navarro — the former Trump adviser who has bragged openly about working to overturn the results of the 2020 election — was sentenced to four months in prison on Thursday for contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 Committee.
The sentence, handed down by Judge Amit Mehta, is the same one that was given to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress in 2022. Mehta also fined Navarro $9,500.
Navarro was not happy outside the courtroom after he was sentenced, where he was heckled by protesters. “This is a case of first impressions that I have said from day one is destined for the Supreme Court,” he said, competing with whistles and cow bells.
lol this is not going well for Peter Navarro pic.twitter.com/3Y4tvFoRX4
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 25, 2024
The congressional committee investigating the attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Navarro in February 2022. He refused to comply, and the full House of Representatives voted that April to hold him in contempt of Congress. The Justice Department charged him with contempt two months later. Navarro responded with a wild meltdown outside of court, calling his arrest “terrorism” and the kind of thing that happens in “Stalinist Russia.”
Navarro was convicted of two contempt-related counts in September, each one of them carrying a minimum 30-day prison sentence. Federal prosecutors were seeking six months heading into the sentencing.
“The defendant brazenly defied Congress,” DOJ attorney John Crabb argued during the hearing on Thursday. “This type of behavior would lead to others ignoring Congress. There will be future investigations. It’s important for the court to make clear that people cannot defy Congress and ignore their legal obligations.”
Navarro hasn’t been shy about his role in the effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s election win. He claims that he and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon drew up the plan — which he has dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep” — to have former Vice President Mike Pence work in conjunction with congressional Republicans to stop the certification of the election results. “It was a perfect plan,” he told the Daily Beast, adding to Rolling Stone that there were “over 100 congressmen ready to implement” it.
Navarro said in court on Thursday that the riot at the Capitol “was one of the worst days of my life,” not just because it was a “desecration of our Capitol,” but because it marked an “end to any rational discussion related to the Electoral Count Act of 1887.”
Judge Mehta wasn’t swayed by Navarro’s argument that he assumed he would be protected by executive privilege, or his contention that his arrest and conviction was part of a Democratic conspiracy. “Mr. Navarro, you’re not a victim,” Mehta said. “You’re not the object of a political prosecution.”
“These are circumstance of your own making,” he told Navarro before handing down the sentence.
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