WASHINGTON – Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro will be sentenced Thursday for criminal contempt of Congress, and federal prosecutors said he “turned his nose” at the House committee investigating the attack. January 6 to the United States Capitol.
The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one month in prison.
Navarro was convicted in September on two counts of refusing to testify and provide documents to the House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which issued its report and disbanded in late 2022 after the Republicans will gain control of the House.
Federal prosecutors are seeking six months in federal prison for Navarro, saying he, “like the rioters at the Capitol, put politics, not country, first, and blocked Congress’ investigation.” Navarro, prosecutors said, “chose loyalty to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law.”
Navarro helped spread misinformation about the 2020 election after Trump’s loss and issued a report that Trump said falsely showed it was statistically “impossible” for him to have lost the election. Trump referred to the report in his infamous “it’s going to be wild” tweet on December 19, 2020, encouraging his supporters to travel to Washington for a “Big Protest” on January 6. That tweet, many defendants from Jan. 6 have said, is what drew them to Washington.
Navarro’s attorney asked that any sentence imposed Thursday be immediately suspended due to “novel issues” raised in the case, including Navarro’s alleged belief that Trump had invoked executive privilege. Right-wing podcaster and former White House official Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison for a similar contempt conviction in October 2022, but is seeking to overturn his conviction and has not yet served time.
“Like Stephen Bannon before him, during the pendency of this case, the defendant has exploited his notoriety (through courtroom press conferences, his books and podcasts) to show the public why he failed to comply with the law. Committee subpoena: a disregard for government processes and the law, and in particular, the work of the Committee,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “The defendant wrote a book on the same subject that was the subject of the Committee’s subpoena. He was happy to tell the world what he knew, but not Congress.”
U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta will sentence Navarro at the hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. ET.