DOJ indicts former Trump adviser Peter Navarro for contempt of Congress
A federal grand jury indicted former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro on criminal contempt of Congress charges after he refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Jan. 6 committee.
The Department of Justice announced the indictment Friday. The department has previously indicted former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon for contempt of Congress, throwing its weight behind the committee’s subpoenas.
The FBI arrested Navarro Friday morning. In his first court appearance Friday afternoon, Navarro said that he was on his way to Nashville for a television appearance Friday morning, and that an FBI team let him get to the airport and try to board a plane before putting him in handcuffs. Navarro said during his court appearance he was put in a jail cell Friday.
FILE – Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2020.
(Stefani Reynolds/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“I was a distinguished public servant for court years,” he said. “No one ever treated me in this fashion.”
Navarro alleged that the prosecution was acting in “bad faith” and told the judge about a lawsuit he filed Tuesday against the House of Representatives and the Jan. 6 Committee.
“Prosecution has put me in an untenable position,” Navarro told Magistrate Judge Zia Farqui.
“This is something that needs to get to the Supreme Court,” he added. “Department of Justice appears to have colluded with the White House and Congress.”
Farqui said in court that he takes the allegations against Navarro seriously.
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Navarro has called the Jan. 6 committee illegitimate and is suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the committee’s activity. In an interview with Fox News, he called any possible prosecution of him “domestic terrorism.”
Navarro continues to assert executive privilege since he worked at the Trump White House and said he was exempt from appearing before the committee.
READ THE INDICTMENT
The House has also voted to hold former Trump aide Dan Scavino and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress, but the DOJ has not prosecuted them.
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The committee, which is investigating the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to stop congressional certification of the 2020 election, issued the subpoena in February 2022.
The subpoena sought a deposition and documents from Navarro, but Navarro refused, according to the indictment. He faces two counts, each of which could mean between 30 days and a year of jail time and a fine of up to $100,000, if he is convicted, according to the DOJ.
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Bannon, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to his charges and a trial has been scheduled for July 18.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.