Federal prosecutors are recommending Peter Navarro, a former White House economic adviser to former President Donald Trump, be sentenced to six months in prison after being convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress.
Navarro was convicted in September when a Washington, DC, jury determined he “willfully failed to comply with the House January 6 Committee’s subpoena when he refused to testify before the committee and produce documents,” as Breitbart News noted at the time.
In the memo to the court that U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matt Graves submitted, prosecutors argue that Navarro’s “bad-faith strategy of defiance and contempt deserves severe punishment.”
“This Court should impose a sentence of six months’ imprisonment, reflecting the most severe Guidelines-compliant punishment available, and fine the Defendant $200,000,” adds U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi, who authored the memo.
She contends that Navarro “chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law.”
Navarro, who has cited executive privilege in his defense, said that following his conviction, he would appeal the verdict, as the Associated Press noted:
Navarro vowed to appeal the verdict, saying the “die was cast” after a judge ruled that he couldn’t fight the charges by arguing he couldn’t cooperate with the committee because Trump had invoked executive privilege
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that Navarro didn’t have enough evidence to show Trump had invoked it.
“This is a landmark case that’s bound for the Supreme Court,” Navarro said. Defense attorney John Rowley echoed that, saying “this case is not over by a long shot.”
On Tuesday, Mehta also denied Navarro’s request for a new trial after he alleged that demonstrators outside the courthouse had influenced the jury.
“Navarro argued that the jury that found him guilty of contempt of Congress may have been influenced by protesters outside the courthouse when the jurors exited the building for a break before returning a verdict,” ABC News reported.
But Mehta found “evidence establishes that the jurors only interacted with each other.”
The New York Times notes that sentencing is scheduled for Thursday.
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has also been convicted on contempt of Congress charges and was sentenced to four months of prison time and a $6,500 fine. The sentence is delayed as the case remains under appeal, with Bannon and his legal team also citing “executive privilege objections Trump had raised” as a reason for not complying with the subpoena, PBS News noted earlier in January.
The case is the United States v. Navarro, No. 22-cr-200, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.