OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:59 AM – Thursday, January 25, 2024
Peter Navarro, a former assistant to President Trump in the White House, was fined $9,500 and was given a four-month jail sentence for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena to assist the House Select Committee looking into the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6th, 2021.
In September, Navarro was found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress. One of the counts was for refusing to come before the committee for a deposition, and the other was for failing to submit documents.
Navarro informed U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta at his sentencing hearing in federal court on Thursday, that upon receiving the subpoena, he had “an honest belief” that former President Donald Trump had asserted executive privilege, a claim that the prosecution had refuted during the trial.
“The minute that violence erupted on Capitol Hill, it was one of the worst days of my life,” Navarro said.
Stanley Woodward, Navarro’s lawyer, also contended that Navarro was not the only one who disregarded a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee.
“Dan Scavino did not provide testimony; Mark Meadows did not provide any testimony,” he said, though the DOJ did not bring contempt charges against either of those two White House officials.
Woodward’s assertion that Navarro had “accepted responsibility” for his wrongdoing was also contested by Judge Mehta.
“I haven’t heard a single word of contrition since this case began,” the judge said.
Navarro’s lawyers filed an appeal immediately after his sentencing.
After Steve Bannon was found guilty in July of ignoring a January 6th committee subpoena, Navarro is the second Trump advisor to be found guilty and jailed for refusing to comply with the investigation.
Later on, Bannon was given a four-month jail term, which was suspended pending an appeal.
Navarro was the head of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under Trump. Prosecutors had requested a six-month prison term for him.
“The mandatory minimum sentence of one month in prison is insufficient to account for, punish, and deter the defendant’s criminal offense,” prosecutors wrote last week. “For each count, the Court should instead impose a sentence of six months’ imprisonment—the top end of the applicable Guidelines’ advisory sentencing range—and fine the defendant $100,000.”
Prosecutors stated in their memo that the six-month sentences for each offense could also be served consecutively.
Attorneys for Navarro had asked the judge to give him six months or less and impose a $100 fee on each allegation.
Following a 17-month investigation that began on January 6th and ended with the final report being released in December 2022, the committee decided that there was a “multi-part conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election.” The panel’s 11 recommendations included asking Congress to uphold the electoral vote certification process, support initiatives against “violent extremism” and threats against election personnel, and enhance the efficiency of the Capitol Police.
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