"They Came For Me, They Can Come For You" - Former Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Reports To Prison

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Mar 19, 2024 - 06:46 PM

Authored by Jacob Burg via The Epoch Times,

Peter Navarro voiced frustration at a press conference on March 19, just before turning himself over to authorities in Miami, Florida, to begin his four-month sentence at the city’s minimum-security prison.

The former Trump White House trade adviser is the first official from President Donald Trump’s administration to serve jail time. He was found in contempt of Congress in 2023 for refusing to comply with the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 select committee subpoena.

Mr. Navarro declined to turn over records for the committee, citing the former president’s executive privilege that allows some presidential records to be blocked from disclosure.

“I am not nervous,” Mr. Navarro said to a reporter on March 19. “I am pissed.”

“When I walk in that prison today, the justice system, such as it is, will have done a crippling blow to the constitutional separation of powers of executive privilege,” he added.

Mr. Navarro reaffirmed his belief that a White House aide cannot be compelled by Congress to testify, and repeated his claims of executive privilege regarding the documents and testimony that the House Jan. 6 select committee was seeking through its subpoena.

Wearing a black shirt and gray jacket, he appeared in front of cameras at a strip mall parking lot across the road from the Miami prison where he will be serving his time. He was focused and alert while remarking on his case.

“I am the first senior White House adviser in the history of our republic that has ever been charged with this alleged crime,” Mr. Navarro said, defending his use of the term “alleged” because he believes the DOJ has historically “maintained the principle of absolute testimony immunity” for White House officials.

“And it was only with my case that somehow that has changed,” Mr. Navarro added.

He argued that as as one of the former president’s “highest advisers,” he acted as an “alter ego of the president,” which he believes grants him executive privilege and is essential to “effective presidential decision making.”

“And the principle here related to effective presidential decision-making is simply that if a president does not have the ability—between and among his advisers—to get confidential information in the sanctity of the Oval Office, he will make poor decisions which will harm the Republic,” Mr. Navarro said.

“That’s what this is about.”

In his statement on March 18, Mr. Navarro said his case should have a “chilling” effect on every American.

“The partisan nature of the imprisoning of a top senior White House aide should chill the bones of every American,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Bid to Avoid Prison Sentence

Mr. Navarro unsuccessfully filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court on March 15 to avoid reporting to prison on March 19, but that bid was rejected by Chief Justice John Roberts on March 18.

The former White House aide said he would continue to appeal his case following the ruling, even if a resolution comes after the end of his sentence. His prison consultant, Sam Mangel, told The Epoch Times that for someone in Mr. Navarro’s situation with a lack of an existing record, the four-month sentence could be reduced to 90 days.

One of his lawyers, Stanley Brand, told The Epoch Times that Mr. Navarro would be the first White House aide in 240 years to be jailed for contempt of Congress “despite unbroken Department of Justice opinions” that say criminal contempt cannot be applied to them.

However, Mr. Navarro is not the only former Trump White House official in hot water right now.

Steve Bannon, the former chief executive for President Trump’s 2016 campaign and later chief White House strategist, was convicted in 2022 for two counts of contempt of Congress for also refusing a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 select committee.

However, Mr. Bannon’s four-month prison sentence was delayed after he appealed his convictions. Mr. Navarro, who tried the same tactic, failed and must report to prison regardless of his pending appeals.

Some legal analysts have speculated that the two men’s differing fates—despite being convicted of similar offenses—come down to the judges presiding over their cases.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols, who is presiding over Mr. Bannon’s case, was appointed by President Trump.

Story continues below advertisement


Mr. Navarro’s case was handled by U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, an appointee of President Barack Obama.

The former White House aide seemed to agree with that line of reasoning and expressed disappointment while comparing his situation to Mr. Bannon’s, who remains free from prison pending his appeal.

“This is the partisan weaponization of our judicial system,” Mr. Navarro said, referring to the three Democrat-appointed judges who oversaw his appeal.

He also raised his voice while referencing the prosecutors in his case, and alleged one of them has a “Never Trump” bias against the former president.

Surrendering to Prison

Mr. Navarro will serve his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution Miami Camp, a minimum-security prison adjacent to Zoo Miami. Inmates awake to the sound of lions roaring like roosters at sunrise, Mr. Mangel told The Epoch Times.

But the prison is no “Four Seasons,” “Motel Six,” or “club fed,” Mr. Mangel said, as inmates are expected to work as they wait out their sentences.

Mr. Navarro’s other defense attorney, Stanley Woodward, said the former White House aide was checking in ahead of the 2 p.m. deadline to ensure he is processed today and not required to spend time in solitary confinement as part of the check-in process.

Mr. Woodward said they are following standard processes and procedures and are not asking for anything “special” as Mr. Navarro surrenders himself to authorities.

However, he will have the advantage of being welcomed by two of Mr. Mangel’s existing clients who are also serving their sentences at the Miami prison.

“Anyone going into this would naturally be very worried, scared, and concerned. It is a different environment,” Mr. Mangel said.

Mr. Navarro maintained he would manage while serving his sentence, but that it would affect his family the most.

“[A]s hard as it will be on me, and as hard as it will be on anybody who is in there, it is harder on their families.”

In his closing remarks, Mr. Navarro reiterated what worries him the most about his case.

“So I’m pissed,” he said. “That’s what I’m feeling right now. But I’m also afraid of only one thing: I’m afraid for this country. Because what they’re doing should have a chilling effect on every American regardless of their party.

“They come for me; they can come for you.”