Peter Navarro Sentenced to 4 Months In Jail For Defying Congressional Subpoena

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On Thursday, Peter Navarro was sentenced to four months in jail for contempt of Congress.

He had refused to comply with a subpoena related to the congressional inquiry into the US Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.

In September, the House Select Committee investigating the attack found Navarro guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress for ignoring the subpoena.

Each count carries a minimum jail term of one month.

However, prosecutors asked US District Judge Amit Mehta to impose a six-month sentence for each count, to be served concurrently, and a fine of $200,000.

Last week, they informed the judge that a one-month sentence for each charge “does not adequately address, penalize, and discourage the defendant’s criminal actions.”

They argued that Navarro’s refusal to comply with subpoenas resembled the behavior of certain individuals involved in the riot.

“The defendant, like the rioters at the Capitol, put politics, not country, first and stonewalled Congress’s investigation,” prosecutors wrote. “The defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law.”

The conviction and sentencing of Navarro mark a major victory for the House January 6 committee, as it effectively pressured the Justice Department into taking legal action against those who refused to cooperate with their investigation.

In 2022, Steve Bannon, a previous advisor to Trump, was convicted on two counts of contempt and subsequently handed a four-month prison term. The Bannon case is currently being appealed.

Navarro’s legal team is requesting a maximum sentence of six months of probation for each charge, and they have asked Judge Mehta to temporarily suspend the sentence while they appeal the conviction.

The trial of Navarro in September proceeded quickly, with the jury reviewing all the evidence in one day.

Prosecutors called three witnesses, all former staff members of the House January 6 committee.

The Justice Department used their testimony to argue that the committee had valid grounds to subpoena Navarro and that he was aware of these requests.

In her closing arguments, Prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi told the jury that Navarro was aware of a scheme to hinder Congress on January 6th. She also claimed that Navarro publicly acknowledged this knowledge but refused to disclose it to the House committee.

Navarro’s legal team did not present any witnesses and instead focused on proving that his refusal to comply with the subpoena was intentional and calculated.

They argued that it was not due to an unintentional mistake.

Navarro has stated that he did not comply with the subpoena based on Trump’s guidance, claiming executive privilege. However, before the trial, Mehta ruled that Navarro failed to provide sufficient evidence proving Trump officially claimed such privilege or immunity.

During the appeal process, Navarro intends to address this matter as well as other concerns.

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