Peter Navarro Asks Supreme Court to Avoid Reporting to Prison

Sam Dorman
By Sam Dorman
March 15, 2024Judiciary
Peter Navarro Asks Supreme Court to Avoid Reporting to Prison
Peter Navarro, a former adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks to reporters at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington on Jan. 25, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Former Trump White House aide Peter Navarro on March 15 asked the Supreme Court to allow him to avoid reporting to prison for a contempt of Congress conviction as the matter is being appealed.

His request came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit denied his request for release from prison pending appeal. Mr. Navarro revealed on March 10 that he was ordered to report to a Miami prison on March 19 for a four-month sentence.

Mr. Navarro filed an emergency petition to Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday afternoon, arguing that his appeal “will raise a number of issues on appeal that he contends are likely to result in the reversal of his conviction, or a new trial.”

“For the first time in our nation’s history, a senior presidential advisor has been convicted of contempt of Congress after asserting executive privilege over a congressional subpoena,” Mr. Navarro’s lawyers wrote.

“Navarro is indisputably neither a flight risk nor a danger to public safety should he be released pending appeal,” they added.

Mr. Navarro was convicted in 2023 of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 select committee.

His bid to stay out of prison while he appeals his conviction was turned down initially in February by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who found that the trade adviser to former President Donald Trump failed to pose any substantial questions of law in his motion. Mr. Navarro then asked an appeals court to overturn Judge Mehta’s ruling.

In the decision on March 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected another bid.

“Appellant has not shown that his appeal presents substantial questions of law or fact likely to result in reversal, new trial, a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment, or a reduced sentence of imprisonment that is less than the amount of time already served plus the expected duration of the appeal process,” the court said.

The Justice Department’s appellate filing echoed Judge Mehta’s claim that Mr. Navarro hadn’t provided sufficient evidence to the court that President Trump invoked executive privilege.

In denying Mr. Navarro’s request for release, Judge Mehta stated that Mr. Navarro failed at an evidentiary hearing to carry his burden of establishing a formal claim of privilege.

“United States v. Peter Navarro is a landmark constitutional case that will eventually determine whether the constitutional separation of powers is preserved, whether executive privilege will continue to exist as a bulwark against partisan attacks by the legislative branch, and whether executive privilege will remain, as President George Washington pioneered, a critical instrument of effective presidential decision-making,” Mr. Navarro said in a statement to The Epoch Times. “That’s worth fighting for on behalf of all Americans.”

Mr. Navarro’s petition to Justice Roberts argued that his trial ran afoul of the nation’s separation of powers.

While he acknowledged privilege wasn’t absolute, he said: “Any subpoena directed to a former senior presidential advisor, without the imprimatur of the Judicial branch concluding the privilege has been overcome … is void ab initio insofar as the prosecution of that advisor for contempt of congress contravenes the separation of powers doctrine.”

He also argued his conviction should be reversed.

“Regardless of how the decision is reached, the outcome is the same: Dr. Navarro’s prosecution for contempt of congress breached the doctrine of separation of powers, his conviction must be reversed, and the indictment must be dismissed,” his brief read.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times

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