The Contemptuous Navarro

He was convicted of contempt of Congress.

Source: The White House

Via the NYT: Peter Navarro Convicted of Contempt of Congress Over Jan. 6 Subpoena.

Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to President Donald J. Trump, was convicted on Thursday of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The verdict, coming after nearly four hours of deliberation in Federal District Court in Washington, made Mr. Navarro the second top adviser of Mr. Trump’s to be found guilty in connection to the committee’s inquiry. Stephen K. Bannon, a former strategist for Mr. Trump who was convicted of the same offense last summer, faces four months in prison and remains free on appeal.

Mr. Navarro, 74, stood to the side of his lawyers’ table, stroking his chin as the verdict was read aloud. Each count carries a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. A hearing to determine his sentence was scheduled for January.


The rapid pace of the trial reflected, in part, the fact that the case turned on a straightforward question, whether Mr. Navarro had willfully defied lawmakers in flouting a subpoena. Even before the trial began, Judge Amit P. Mehta, who presided over the case, dealt a blow to Mr. Navarro by ruling that he could not use in court what he has publicly cast as his principal defense: that Mr. Trump personally directed him not to cooperate and that he was protected by those claims of executive privilege.

One can only hope that he does face real penalties for his behavior, given his clear role in attempting to aid the nullification of a legitimate election. Moreover, one can but hope that the ongoing cavalcade of convictions linked to these attempts to subvert democracy will be be taken as warnings for future officials who might seek similar types of behavior.

Of course, all of these attempts at justice could be undermined should Trump be elected to the presidency next year.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    You’re ~75 years old and facing a likely 12-18 months in the pokey for loyalty to the least loyal politician on the scene. Whatever.

    Navaro claims he will appeal, that doesn’t mean he won’t go to jail while the appeal is ongoing. Even if he isn’t in jail, you’re ~75 and you want to spend, perhaps the next 3-5 years consumed with the appeal that you’ll probably lose and then face jail time. OK…

    edit: Early in the week I was at my local coffee shop, the kids who work there have tip jars with binary questions that conduct a small poll. That day the question was which is more important to you time or money, I’m 71, my tip went in the ‘time’ jar.

  2. Argon says:

    FAAFO! Finally.

  3. reid says:

    Who cares, he’s got a reason to get up in the morning, places to be, and he’s even doing interviews on TV!

    I wonder just how much of a factor filling up their dull lives and not dealing well with aging it is for guys like him.

  4. gVOR10 says:

    Moreover, one can but hope that the ongoing cavalcade of convictions linked to these attempts to subvert democracy will be be taken as warnings for future officials who might seek similar types of behavior.

    The report of the GA special grand jury, the jury that investigated without power to m0re the recommend indictment, is out. They wanted to indict Lindsey Graham. And 20 others not charged, including ex GA senators Perdue and Loeffler.

    And they claim Fani Willis is being over-zealous.

  5. gVOR10 says:

    @gVOR10: I swear I typed “power to more than recommend”. Since spell check got Artificially Intelligent I’ve tried to carefully proofread before hitting “Post”, but I still miss stuff.

    Off topic, but I tend to read both Marginal Revolution and Brad DeLong’s Substack in the morning. Tyler Cowen is obsessed with AI and convinced it will revolutionize the world. I’m unconvinced he understands it. DeLong describes ChatGPT as “stochastic parrots”. He’s tested it by asking questions about his own work and listing the resulting factual errors.

  6. Jay L Gischer says:

    @gVOR10: Hey, I read Brad DeLong, too. Since about 2003.

    I dunno, Cowen doesn’t ever seem to impress me. As to AI, as a computer science guys, I’ve been listening to AI puffery since about 1980. This hubbub around ChatGPT seems like the latest iteration. LLMs are an advance, to be sure, just as neural networks were. And each advance shows us more about what machines can do AND what they can’t do. Meanwhile definitions of AI constantly shift around.

  7. becca says:

    @Jay L Gischer: as an economist, Cowen is a decent food critic. Never liked the guy.

  8. al Ameda says:

    Three things occur to me:
    (1) Clearly he made a rookie mistake, this was an unforced error. Just show up Pete.

    (2) I’ve seen enough of Navarro in various interviews, and of all the insurrectionist radicals who make the media rounds he comes across as by far the most arrogant.

    (3) I think that Navarro and all the others are very confident that Trump will be elected in ’24 and that there will be full pardons all the way around. Doesn’t solve their legal fee problem, but …

  9. Jay L Gischer says:

    @al Ameda: I have a slightly different read. They are playing the confidence game. If they don’t act confident, it is certain that Trump won’t win. So they must behave confidently, show confidence, to have any hope. This is also Trump’s game. It’s very common, in fact.

    So. Don’t let it bother you or sway you. It doesn’t mean much.