Former Trump Aide Receives Prison Sentence

In a last-ditch effort to stay out of jail while his contempt of Congress conviction is appealed, former Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro last Friday filed an emergency petition with the US Supreme Court appealing a decision by the DC Court of Appeals, the Associated Press reported.

A three-judge appellate panel last Thursday rejected a request by Navarro to block US District Judge Amit Mehta’s February ruling for Navarro to report to the Bureau of Prisons when ordered.

Mehta, who in late January sentenced Navarro to four months in jail for defying a subpoena from the January 6 select committee, in February, denied the defense’s request that Navarro remain free while he appealed his September conviction.

In his February decision, Judge Mehta ruled that Navarro failed to show that the questions of law raised in his appeal were “substantial” and said the former Trump official would have to report to jail when the Bureau of Prisons ordered it unless an appeals court blocked Mehta’s ruling.

In its decision to reject Navarro’s appeal, the three-judge appellate panel upheld Judge Mehta’s order, writing that it was unlikely Navarro’s appeal would succeed.

A jury convicted Navarro in September 2023 of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a subpoena to testify before the Jan 6 select committee. The former Trump official claimed that he was unable to testify due to Donald Trump invoking executive privilege.

Judge Mehta rejected Navarro’s request to use executive privilege as his defense at trial, saying Navarro failed to provide evidence that Trump ever invoked executive privilege.

After receiving Navarro’s emergency petition last Friday, the Supreme Court gave the Justice Department until Monday, March 18 to respond to Navarro’s filing.

Navarro was scheduled to report to a Bureau of Prisons facility in Miami on Tuesday, March 19, unless the Supreme Court intervened.

Navarro was the second Trump associate convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the Jan 6 committee’s investigation. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was also sentenced to four months in jail. However, Bannon remains free pending the appeal of his conviction.