Peter Navarro, 74, then-President Trump’s former trade advisor, was sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to cooperate with a subpoena from the J6 Soviet-style panel of Trump haters. A jury convicted him for doing so.
Obama Judge Amit Mehta did not allow him to present an executive privilege defense.
“You are not a victim. You are not the object of a political prosecution,” Mehta added. “These are circumstances of your own making.”
Navarro took the stand in his own defense against the advice of his lawyers.
“I didn’t know what to do, sir,” Navarro said about not answering the subpoena. “The learning curve when they come at you with the largest law firm in the world is pretty steep.”
Mehta took issue with some of Navarro’s statements in court and said some public statements Navarro put out in response to the subpoena and the prosecution sought to “mislead” the public about the case.
Navarro’s statements about former Speaker Nancy Pelosi or President Joe Biden’s involvement in the case “contribute to why our politics are so corrosive,” Mehta said. He cited Navarro’s Harvard doctorate degree to point out that “he knows better.”
Some would say that’s Navarro’s free speech right.
The sentence followed nearly two years of proceedings that became entangled with complicated questions about executive privilege — and whether Navarro’s defiance could be considered criminal if he believed that Trump had wanted him to protect the confidentiality of their conversations.
Mehta acknowledged the historical significance of those questions, but said nothing excused Navarro’s blanket defiance, particularly aimed at a congressional panel seeking to understand an attack on the transfer of presidential power. Some would say it was a witch hunt.
He also scolded Navarro for making public comments attributing his prosecution to politics rather than his own conduct. Why couldn’t he make public comments expressing his opinion?
“Nancy Pelosi’s not responsible for your prosecution. Joe Biden’s not responsible for your prosecution,” Mehta said. “It’s those kinds of statements from somebody who knows better … that contributes to why our politics are so corrosive.”
Many disagree with that. The J6 panel, orchestrated by Nancy Pelosi, only considered evidence that would hurt President Trump. They hid all communications to and from Nancy Pelosi even though she is responsible for security at the Capitol.
In addition to the sentence, he was fined $9500. He has never been convicted of a crime nor even suspected of one. He’s 74 years old and has served in prominent positions throughout his career. No consideration was given to this at his sentencing. First-time Republican offenders get prison, apparently.
When Hillary’s staff refused to abide by subpoenas, nothing happened to them.
Free Pending Appeal
Most concerning is Judge Mehta’s demand that his attorney, Stanley Woodward, file a brief as to why he should not be sent to prison pending appeal.
In any case, it would not surprise us if this Obama judge sent him to prison pending appeal. It won’t surprise us if he’s abused in prison as well.
Defendants are not free pending appeal because they are flight risks or are dangerous. Another consideration is if the individual is not likely to win on appeal. Not being a lawyer, I cannot say. What I can say is the congressional panel was a disgrace. Everyone on the J6 panel was a Trump hater who wanted to destroy Donald Trump and his allies. They did not allow due process or legal representation, ignored attorney-client privilege, and cross-examination of witnesses.
Mr. Navarro, 74, was found guilty in September of two misdemeanor counts of criminal contempt of Congress, making him the second Trump aide to face penalties related to one of the chief investigations into the Capitol riot. The judge overseeing the case, Amit P. Mehta, had rejected Mr. Navarro’s primary defense: that Mr. Trump had personally directed him not to cooperate with the subpoena and that he believed he was shielded by executive privilege. There was nothing in writing from Mr. Trump to prove it. Mr. Navarro believed he had the obligation not to reveal these private conversations. He should have done what Democrats do in the same position – they can’t remember a thing.
Mr. Navarro was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine and a $50 assessment fee. He will stay out of jail until Judge Mehta decides next week whether he can remain free while he appeals his conviction. Mehta told Navarro’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, to file a brief on the issue by next week.