Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to President Donald Trump who was convicted of contempt of Congress, has been ordered to report to prison after a judge denied Navarro’s effort to stay out of prison while he appeals the conviction.
Navarro was sentenced by Judge Amit Mehta in late January to four months behind bars after a jury in Washington, DC, found him guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena related to the congressional investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
“Defendant’s request for release pending appeal is denied,” Mehta wrote in his ruling Thursday. “Unless this Order is stayed or vacated by the D.C. Circuit, Defendant shall report to the designated Bureau of Prisons facility on the date ordered by the BOP.”
Judge Amit Mehta has denied former Trump official Peter Navarro’s request to remain out of jail pending an appeal of his conviction of contempt of congress charges. Previously, a jury of his peers convicted Navarro of both counts of contempt of congress and Judge Mehta ordered Navarro to serve four months in federal prison. Following the conviction, Navarro asked the Judge to remain out of jail pending his appeal of the convictions. Judge Mehta requested additional briefing from his counsel.
After supplemental briefing was filed by Navarro’s counsel concerning the issue of release pending appeal, Judge Mehta has ruled that none of the issues raised by Navarro constitute a substantial question of law that would make an appeal likely to be successful. In denying Navarro’s request, Judge Mehta called out Navarro’s claim that the prosecution of him was politically motivated. Specifically, Judge Mehta stated: “Defendant’s cynical, self-serving claim of political bias poses no question at all, let alone a ‘substantial’ one.”
As a result, Judge Mehta denied Navarro’s request, ordering him to report to prison. This opinion is different from that of Steve Bannon’s where Bannon has been allowed to remain out of prison pending an appeal of his conviction. Navarro will now likely appeal this decision to the D.C. Circuit, but will have to report to prison pending the appellate court’s decision.