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    Peter Navarro ordered to prison on March 19

    By Ella Lee,


    Peter Navarro, once an economic adviser to former President Trump, has been ordered to report to a Miami prison March 19 to begin serving a four-month sentence for refusing to comply with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

    Navarro, 74, was convicted last year on two counts of contempt of Congress — one for failing to produce documents related to the probe and another for skipping his deposition.

    His lawyers wrote in a Sunday court filing that a federal appeals court should temporarily put his sentence on hold while he appeals his conviction. If that effort fails, he could become the first key Trump adviser to serve jail time over efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

    U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who oversaw Navarro’s trial, declined to allow the Trump ally to stay out of prison while the appellate process plays out.

    Navarro’s counsel had argued that the question of executive privilege, which Navarro claimed Trump invoked over any testimony to the House Jan. 6 panel, rises to that threshold.

    The judge disagreed, ruling last month that Navarro’s appeal does not raise a “substantial question of law” and therefore doesn’t warrant his release.

    Ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon was also convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress last year and sentenced to four months in prison, but a different judge said he could remain free pending appeal. Bannon argued his case before a federal appeals court in November and still has not served any time.

    At trial, prosecutors asserted Navarro showed “utter disregard” for the House committee’s probe and “utter contempt for the rule of law.”

    “The committee was investigating an attack on the very foundation of our democracy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said. “There could be no more serious investigation undertaken by Congress.”

    Navarro told the judge during his sentencing he had an “honest belief” that executive privilege had been invoked by Trump — a matter Mehta precluded him from using as a defense at trial.

    The ex-Trump adviser’s lawyers wrote court filings that Mehta’s decision “hamstrung” Navarro’s defense by leaving open the question of whether a president can direct his subordinates not to testify before Congress.

    After his conviction last year, Navarro told reporters his case could reach the Supreme Court due to the questions it raises about executive privilege for high-ranking White House staff.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

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