SCOTUS Turns Down Peter Navarro’s Request for Release

SCOTUS Turns Down Peter Navarro's Request for Release

( – A federal jury found former President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, guilty of two contempt charges last September. He failed to comply with a subpoena issued by the United States House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol. The committee referred him to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal charges. In January, a judge sentenced him to four months in jail. While Navarro is appealing that decision, he asked the Supreme Court to release him. It recently denied his request.

Yet Another Denial

Shortly before the District Court required Navarro to report to prison to begin his sentence in March, he appealed to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, asking the High Court to allow him to remain free while he underwent the appeals process. Roberts denied that request and ruled that the former Trump adviser must surrender himself. Navarro complied and was serving his sentence in an 80-bed facility in Miami’s Federal Correctional Institute geared toward housing older inmates.

In early April, Navarro decided he would submit another request for release. This time, he chose to query Justice Neil Gorsuch. The SCOTUS once again denied the request for the second time in six weeks.

The Case Against Navarro

The DOJ pursued the indictment against Navarro because he refused to comply with a House committee’s subpoena and answer questions surrounding the January 6, 2021, riots. In particular, the committee members wanted answers regarding his involvement and efforts to delay the certification of the electoral votes that would transfer power to current President Joe Biden.

Navarro claimed he had executive privilege because he was working for the president of the United States in an official capacity during and before the protests at the Capitol. However, a judge disagreed and noted that Navarro never invoked any such privilege.

When the former trade adviser tried to appeal the case to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a three-judge panel denied a stay of his prison sentence, finding that he had a low probability of winning to overturn the verdict on the merits of his case. That led to the last-ditch attempt and the first request to the SCOTUS. He is the first to serve as an advisor in the Trump White House and then go to jail on contempt charges.

Another Trump official, Steve Bannon, was also sentenced to four months in prison for evading a subpoena. However, he was lucky enough to score a different outcome: a judge is allowing a stay of his sentence while he appeals the case.

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