Trump adviser Peter Navarro was sentenced to 4 months in prison for defying the committee’s January 6 subpoena
Washington – Former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro He was sentenced to four months in prison Thursday for contempt of Congress, with a federal judge telling him he was “not a victim” or target of political persecution, much as he had stated otherwise.
Navarro was convicted In September, he was charged with two counts of refusing to testify and provide documents to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, which issued its report It was dissolved in late 2022 after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.
The charge carried a mandatory minimum sentence of one month in prison. Federal prosecutors He sought Six months for Navarro, saying he “like the rioters at the Capitol, is putting politics, not country, first, and obstructing Congress’s investigation.” Prosecutors said Navarro “chose loyalty to the former president.” Donald Trump On the rule of law.” Federal prosecutors said Navarro “butted his nose” at the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta issued the ruling Thursday and also ordered Navarro to pay a $9,500 fine.
Before issuing the ruling, Mehta told Navarro that the phrase “executive privilege” is not a “magic spell” or a “get out of jail free card” to get rid of a subpoena.
“What I find disappointing is that in all of this, even today, there is so little recognition of your obligation as an American — to cooperate with Congress, to provide them with the information they are looking for,” he said. She thinks it’s a political mission, and that domestic terrorists are running the committee. They had a job to do, and you made it more difficult. It’s really that simple.
“You are not a victim,” Mehta continued. “You are not the subject of a political trial, you are not. You have received all the measures you deserve.”
Navarro appealed his conviction immediately after the ruling.
During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia are committed to “enforcing the law without fear, favor, or political influence” and called Navarro’s prosecution “rightful.”
“The defendant believes he is above the law, but no one is above the law,” Crabb said. “We are a nation of laws. The rule of law is critical to a functioning democracy.”
Navarro helped spread misinformation about the 2020 election after Trump’s loss and issued a report that Trump falsely said proved it was statistically “impossible” for him to lose the election. Trump referenced the report in his infamous “It’s going to be wild” tweet on December 19, 2020, encouraging his supporters to travel to Washington to participate in a “big protest” on January 6. That tweet, several of the defendants said on January 6, is what brought them to Washington?
Navarro’s lawyer requested that any ruling on Thursday be halted immediately because of “new issues” raised in the case, including Navarro’s alleged belief that Trump invoked executive privilege.
“He acted the way he did because he thought it was his duty to do so,” attorney Stanley Woodward said Thursday.
Mehta did not immediately rule on the stay request and requested further briefing. Navarro will have one week to file a brief on the matter, after which the judge will issue his ruling.
Navarro did not have a good faith basis to invoke the privilege, Crabb said before sentencing. “The defendant has brazenly defied Congress,” he added.
Federal prosecutors cited the case of right-wing broadcaster and former White House official Steve Bannon in their sentencing memorandum. It was Bannon Convicted To four months in prison on a similar contempt charge in October 2022, but she is seeking that His conviction is overturned He has not yet served any time.
“Like Stephen Bannon before him, throughout the course of this case, the defendant has exploited his notoriety — through courtroom press conferences, his books, and through podcasts — to present to the public why he failed to comply with the committee’s subpoena: “Ignoring governmental processes and the law, and In particular, the work of the Committee,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “The defendant has written a book on the same subject that was the subject of the Committee’s subpoena. “He was happy to tell the world what he knew — but not Congress.”
revision (January 25, 2024, 11:05 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled the first name of Navarro’s attorney. It’s Stanley Woodward, not Stanley.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com