Peter Navarro is a crackpot fringe economist who ran for office 5 times in San Diego, losing all 5 times, sometimes as a Democrat, sometimes as a Republican and sometimes as an independent. Trump hired him as an assistant on trade affairs and protectionism. He was a very active part of the Trump coup and a big spreader of conspiracy theories and the Big Lie. He was subpoenaed by the select committee investigating the coup. He refused to show up and the House voted to hold him in contempt. He was then subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, refused to cooperate and was arrested and taken into federal custody. Yesterday afternoon he served as his own "lawyer"-- he isn't a lawyer-- and the grand jury indicted him on two counts of contempt of Congress which could lead to 2 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
The NY Times reported that he told the federal judge that "the congressional subpoena he was served with was 'illegal' and 'unenforceable'" and that he's the victim of a Democratic plot "bent on destroying him and Trump" The judge didn't buy his nonsense which didn't stop him from ranting that the select committee "is a sham committee that doesn’t have the power to issue subpoenas. They’ve basically weaponized their investigatory powers in a way which violates separation of powers."
He also complained that although he lives close to F.B.I. headquarters, federal agents arrested him at the door of an airplane as he was on his way to Nashville.
“This is not the way that America is supposed to function,” he went on, adding, “They’re playing hardball.”
...The House subpoena that Navarro received sought documents and testimony about an effort to overturn the election that he had billed as the “Green Bay Sweep.” The plan called for lawmakers in key swing states to team with Republican members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to reject the results that showed Biden had won the election in order to give Trump the victory.
The subpoena also mentioned a call that Navarro participated in with Trump and his lawyers on Jan. 2, 2021, in which they attempted to persuade hundreds of state lawmakers to join the effort.
Navarro also wrote a 36-page report claiming election fraud as part of what he called an “immaculate deception” that he said he made sure was distributed to Republican members of Congress.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and the Jan. 6 committee has described the claims in Navarro’s report as having been “discredited in public reporting, by state officials and courts.”
The indictment comes days after Navarro filed a lawsuit against the House committee, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, in which he questioned the authority and validity of the inquiry.
In the lawsuit, Navarro also revealed that he had recently received another subpoena, this one from a federal grand jury in Washington. That subpoena sought documents from him related to any communications he may have had with Trump or his lawyers.
Navarro has claimed that because Trump invoked executive privilege to bar the disclosure of information requested by the Jan. 6 investigators, he is prevented from complying with the subpoena. Prosecutors were most likely interested in how closely Navarro was in touch with the former president or his lawyers in order to assess that defense against the contempt of Congress charge.
“The executive privilege invoked by President Trump is not mine to waive,” Navarro has repeatedly said.
Bannon has also sought to argue that he does not have to comply with his own subpoena because of Trump’s claims of executive privilege. A trial in his case is tentatively scheduled for July.
Bannon is arguing that the select committee is not a legitimate investigative body but a politically motivated one, citing the fact that two of its members have written books that presuppose who is to blame for the Capitol riot even though the inquiry has not ended.
While contempt of Congress charges are rarely brought, the cases filed against Navarro and Bannon suggest that the Justice Department has been willing to take a tough stance against at least some of Trump’s former aides who have stonewalled the House committee’s efforts.
The charges against Navarro come at a politically sensitive moment: one week before the committee is poised to begin a series of high-profile hearings on its findings.
Navarro has taken an equally aggressive stance toward the committee, especially with regard to its Democratic members. In his lawsuit, he vowed payback against Democrats should Republicans retake the White House and Congress in 2024.
“If I’m not dead or in prison,” he wrote, “I will lead the charge.”
At his court hearing, Navarro expressed similar disdain for the legal proceeding.
A federal magistrate judge, Zia M. Faruqui, released him from custody with a standard set of conditions, mostly simple restrictions on Navarro’s travel privileges, noting that he understood the defendant was frustrated by them.
Navarro rejected the idea that he was frustrated.
“I am, let us say, disappointed in our republic,” he declared.
Speaking to Newsmax yesterday, soon to be gone forever Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert whined about Navarro's situation: "If you’re a Republican, you can’t even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent or they’re coming after you. They’re gonna bury you. They’re gonna put you in the D.C. jail and terrorize and torture you and not live up to the Constitution there... [I]t’s very clear. If you’re a Democrat, then you can lie. You can cheat. You can do whatever you want."