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Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro learns sentence for defying Jan. 6 subpoena

via ABC News
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Peter Navarro, a former White House official under Donald Trump, has been sentenced to four months in prison and fined $9,500 for defying a House Jan. 6 committee subpoena related to the Capitol riot investigation.

Navarro was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to produce documents and testify.

The judge reduced the fine sought by the Justice Department but emphasized that executive privilege is not a “get out of jail free card.”

Judge Amit Mehta said, “I have made clear my confusion about his arrest when he could have been offered self-surrender… The idea that he is subject to a two-tiered system of justice when he’s sitting here with 4 very capable lawyers is a real head-scratcher.”

“The words executive privilege are not magical dust… it’s not a get out of jail free card. To not engage with the committee to work through the issues… to simply not engage, there’s no basis for it.” he continued.

Navarro said, “When I received that congressional subpoena, the second, I had an honest belief that the privilege had been invoked, and I was torn. Nobody in my position should be put in conflict between the legislative branch and the executive branch. Is that the lesson of this entire proceeding? Get a letter and a lawyer? I think in a way it is.”

“I am disappointed with a process where a jury convicted me, and I was unable to provide a defense, one of the most important elements of our justice system,” he continued.

“The day of the attack on our Capitol was one of the worst days of my life. Desecration of our Capitol and the end of any argument about the Vote Count law on our books,” added the former White House official.

Navarro claimed he believed Trump had invoked executive privilege, but the judge found he didn’t show evidence of it.

“I have a great deal of respect for your client and what he accomplished and that makes it more disappointing,” said Judge Mehta.

A prosecutor said, “Before he was contacted, what they wanted. He responded, ‘Executive Privilege.’ That makes it clear that this defendant did not take this seriously. The defendant simply defied Congress. The defendant believes that he is above the law.”

“The things the committee wanted to talk to him about were not exclusively about conversations he had with the president,” they continued.

Navarro said to reporters, “The United States vs. Peter Navarro has turned out to be a very important landmark constitutional case. That is going to resolve important issues about the constitutional separation of powers as well as, the integrity, efficiency of presidential decision-making. And we’ll see what happens today. Is that what Trump loves to say? Let’s see what happens.”

Navarro plans to appeal the verdict.

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