Sunday, June 16, 2024

DOJ Seeks Prison Time for 74-Year-Old Trump White House Official Peter Navarro

'Dr. Navarro acted because he reasonably believed he was duty-bound to assert executive privilege on former President Trump’s behalf...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Justice Department is seeking to imprison former Trump White House official Peter Navarro for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena from the politically driven Jan. 6 Commission.

Navarro, who is 74 years old, was convicted of two misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges last September and is set to be sentenced next Thursday.

His case, along with that of former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s, marked the first time in roughly four decades that any such cases had been prosecuted by the DOJ, despite recent examples including Lois LernerEric Holder and Hillary Clinton, all of whom brazenly disregarded congressional subpoenas during the Obama administration. Bannon was convicted of two counts and was sentenced to four months behind bars, though he has been free pending appeal.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday, the DOJ sought a prison sentence as well as a $500,000 fine for Navarro. In the memo, the DOJ said Navarro “thumbed his nose at Congressional authority.”

“The Committee sought documents and testimony from the Defendant pertinent to a matter of national importance—the circumstances that led to the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the disruption of the peaceful transfer of power,” prosecutors argued.

“But the Defendant, like the rioters at the Capitol, put politics, not country, first, and stonewalled Congress’s investigation. The Defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law even after being apprised that executive privilege would not excuse his default.”

Navarro filed his own sentencing memorandum Thursday, too, asking a judge for six months probation.

In that memo, Navarro said he didn’t flagrantly violate the law, but instead invoked executive privilege as his reason for not complying with the subpoena. Navarro noted that the courts are still reviewing the legal question of whether his actions were legal.

“Yes, the subpoena which initiated this prosecution arose following the events of January 6, 2021. But, contrary to the government’s misleading opening statement, his trial was not about January 6, 2021, and his sentence should not reflect any relationship with the events of that day. Rather, as this Court recognized, Dr. Navarro’s conviction reflects the application of antiquated, questionable precedent in this District,” he said.

“History is replete those to have refused to comply with congressional subpoenas, and Dr. Navarro’s sentence should not be disproportionate from those similarly situated individuals. Moreover, and considering the numerous novel issues and open questions with which this Court was confronted, Dr. Navarro should be granted release pending appeal while he seeks appellate review.”

Navarro added that he suffers from debilitating health issues that cannot be treated while incarcerated.

“As stated herein, Dr. Navarro’s actions do not stem from a disrespect for the law, nor do they stem from any belief that he is above the law,” he added.

“Rather, Dr. Navarro acted because he reasonably believed he was duty-bound to assert executive privilege on former President Trump’s behalf.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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