Navarro becomes first Trump White House official to report to prison over Jan. 6

Ex-Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro reported to a federal prison in Miami on Tuesday afternoon to begin a four-month sentence for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“They can put me in prison; they can put you in prison,” Navarro said during a parking lot press conference Tuesday just before he reported to the facility. “Make no mistake about that, and make no mistake about this: They are coming after Donald Trump with the same tactics, tools and strategies they used to put me over there today.”

“If they come for me, they can come for you,” he told a group of reporters.

Navarro’s last-ditch bid to remain free while appealing his contempt of Congress conviction was shot down Monday evening by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts in a rare “in-chambers” opinion, a written explanation for his ruling on a case he didn’t refer to the full court for consideration.

Roberts said he denied Navarro’s application because the ex-Trump White House economic adviser forfeited any argument challenging the district court’s conclusion that executive privilege was not invoked by Trump, citing an appeals court’s decision.

“I see no basis to disagree with the determination that Navarro forfeited those arguments in the release proceeding, which is distinct from his pending appeal on the merits,” Roberts said.

Roberts received Navarro’s bid to avoid prison because Roberts handles emergency matters arising from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

Navarro, 74, was convicted last year of two counts of contempt of Congress — one for failing to produce documents related to the probe, and another for skipping his deposition before the selection House committee that investigated the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

At trial, the district judge barred him from using executive privilege as part of his defense after finding that he failed to prove privilege was ever invoked by former President Trump.

Defense attorneys said the decision “hamstrung” their defense, and Navarro told the judge during his sentencing that he had an “honest belief” executive privilege had been invoked.

“This is the partisan weaponization of our judicial system,” Navarro said Tuesday, railing against the district and appellate judges who oversaw his case as “Democrat from start to finish.”

Like Navarro, ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon was also convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress last year and sentenced to four months in prison, but a different judge said he could remain free pending appeal. Bannon argued his case before a federal appeals court in November but has yet to serve any time in prison.

Asked whether he had spoken with Trump ahead of his incarceration, Navarro joked to reporters that he would claim “executive privilege” on that question, too, but said he has received the “greatest amount of support from Donald Trump and his team.”

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Navarro said he does not want a pardon from Trump should he be reelected or from President Biden, and still expects his case to be decided by the Supreme Court on its merits.

“It’s crying out for the Supreme Court to do this,” Navarro said of his appeal. “But the tragedy here is, because I have not been released pending appeal, I will have already done my time before that is done.

“But that’s the price of living in Joe Biden’s America right now,” he added. “God bless you all. I’ll see you on the other side.”

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