President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to pursue its agenda of targeting the political opponents of the Democratic Party without any signs of slowing down.
The DOJ, under Biden’s leadership, is now advocating for a six-month prison sentence for Dr. Peter Navarro, a former advisor to President Donald Trump. Navarro had the audacity to stand up against the Democrats’ investigation into the events of January 6th.
Navarro, a strong ally of Trump, was found guilty of contempt of Congress in September. He was convicted on two misdemeanor counts in the federal courthouse in Washington. His charges stemmed from his refusal to cooperate with a House investigation that was clearly biased against Trump and his supporters. The investigation focused on the protests that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Both misdemeanor counts carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison. The Democrats’ Jan. 6 Committee, which has been weaponized against political opponents, issued a subpoena to Navarro in February 2022. The subpoena demanded his deposition and the production of documents.
However, Navarro chose not to comply with the subpoena, as stated in the indictment. Navarro’s defense attorney argued that his client did not intentionally disregard the House Jan. 6 Committee’s demands.
In a sentencing memo submitted on Thursday night, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi justified their request for a six-month prison sentence by citing Navarro’s “bad-faith strategy” and his “sustained, deliberate contempt of Congress.”
“The defendant, like the rioters at the Capitol, put politics, not country, first, and stonewalled Congress’s investigation,” Aloi wrote in their sentencing memo.
“The defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law.”
Prosecutors have stated that Navarro should receive a “harsh penalty” for his actions. Additionally, the DOJ under President Biden is seeking a $200,000 fine for Navarro. The sentencing is scheduled for January 25 in the Federal District Court in Washington. Navarro had previously argued that his testimony was protected by executive privilege and refused to cooperate with the politically motivated investigation.
Prosecutors argue that Navarro should have handed over any relevant materials and identified any documents or questions that he believed were protected by executive privilege. They also noted that much of the information sought by the committee was already publicly available.
The memo further states that Navarro consistently used claims of executive privilege, despite knowing they were baseless, to defy the committee due to his disdain for their mission. Prosecutors also highlighted that Navarro was aware that Trump had not actually asserted executive privilege and that the only evidence he could provide was a press release from November 2021.
“At no time did the Defendant provide the Committee with any evidence supporting his assertion that the former President had invoked executive privilege over the information the Committee’s subpoena sought from the Defendant, or otherwise challenge the Committee’s authority or composition,” Aloi wrote.
“The Court was left with only the Defendant’s fan fiction version of what the Defendant wished or hoped the former President might have wanted but left unsaid.”
Navarro’s legal team, invoking executive immunity, argued that the subpoena directly contradicted the principle that a president has the authority to instruct his subordinates to decline testifying before Congress, as reported by the New York Times.
In their memorandum, they emphasized that throughout history, numerous individuals have chosen not to comply with congressional subpoenas, and therefore, Dr. Navarro’s punishment should not be disproportionately severe compared to those in similar circumstances.
Following former White House advisor Steve Bannon, Navarro became the second Trump aide to be charged with contempt of Congress. Bannon received a four-month prison sentence, but he has remained free pending his appeal.
Additionally, the House of Representatives has voted to hold former Trump aide Dan Scavino and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress. However, the Department of Justice has yet to prosecute them.