Former Trump advisor Dr. Peter Navarro has been found guilty of criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena in Liz Cheney’s January 6 investigation. Navarro’s conviction came after he failed to comply with the subpoena, citing that former President Donald Trump had instructed him to assert executive privilege. Following four hours of deliberation, the jury convicted Navarro on two counts of contempt.
These two counts each carry a minimum sentence of 30 days and a maximum sentence of one year in prison, along with a maximum fine of $100,000, according to NBC News. The verdict has sparked controversy and concern over potential infringements on constitutional separation of powers. Dr. Navarro addressed these concerns during a press conference outside the DC court on Thursday afternoon, but chaos ensued when a leftist protester disrupted his speech.
Despite the importance of the constitutional debate on separation of powers, Navarro was prevented from speaking by the protester, who held up a sign that read ‘Peter 4 Prison.’ The situation escalated when the protester accused a Trump supporter of assault, claiming that a flagpole had been used to harm them. This interruption left Navarro unable to speak for nearly a minute, prompting him to declare it a “sad day for America.”
Navarro’s legal team also spoke to the press outside of the DC court, expressing their intention to appeal the verdict to the DC Court of Appeals. The case, which arose from Navarro’s refusal to cooperate with Liz Cheney’s January 6 Committee, is expected to face further legal scrutiny.
This legal battle began in June 2022 when a federal grand jury indicted Navarro for contempt of Congress. The charges stemmed from his failure to produce requested documents and his refusal to provide testimony before House investigators. Navarro vehemently opposed the investigation, referring to it as unconstitutional. He recounted his experience following his arrest in the summer of last year, describing how he was placed in handcuffs, leg irons, and ultimately confined to a cell.
Navarro’s federal case was assigned to US District Court Judge Amit Mehta, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama. Sentencing is set for January 12, 2024, where Navarro could potentially face imprisonment and substantial fines.
The conviction of Peter Navarro has raised concerns about the limits of executive privilege and the potential infringement on constitutional principles. The case highlights the ongoing tensions and divisions surrounding the investigations into the events of January 6, with both sides firmly entrenched in their positions. As the legal battle continues, the nation watches closely to see how this case unfolds and its potential implications for the future.