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Ex-Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Begins Prison Sentence

Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to Donald Trump, commenced a four-month incarceration for contempt of Congress in a federal prison on Tuesday.

Navarro, aged 74, was found guilty last year after disregarding a subpoena from a House committee probing the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

His eleventh-hour plea to evade prison was dismissed by a Supreme Court justice on Monday.

He will be the first Trump-era official to be imprisoned for contempt of Congress.

Navarro paused in the parking lot of a shopping center to address reporters before surrendering to a federal prison in Miami. The facility, FCI Miami, is a low-security prison with an adjacent minimum-security camp.

Sporting the bomber jacket he wore while speaking at the conservative gathering known as CPAC, Navarro reiterated his defense in the case to a few reporters. He also plugged his forthcoming book, accused federal judges of political bias, and fervently endorsed his former boss, who is vying for the White House again.

Navarro expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would eventually overturn his conviction but lamented that he would have already served his sentence in prison.

In addition to his trade advisory role, Navarro was involved in devising strategies to challenge the 2020 election and maintain Mr. Trump in the White House. The individuals who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, aimed to impede lawmakers from certifying Mr. Trump’s election loss.

Navarro was initially served with a subpoena by the US House of Representatives select committee in February 2022 but failed to produce any of the requested emails or documents.

When contacted by the committee, Navarro stated that former President Trump had directed him to invoke executive privilege, a legal doctrine allowing certain White House communications to remain confidential. However, the judge ruled that Mr. Trump could not make such a request and that executive privilege did not shield Navarro from the subpoena.

In late January, three years after the congressional attack, Navarro received the sentence and was fined $9,500 (£7,500).

Navarro had attempted to remain free while appealing his conviction, with his legal team arguing that he was “indisputably” neither a flight risk nor a danger to the public.

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. declined to postpone the sentence.

In his 2021 memoir titled “In Trump Time,” Navarro claimed to be the architect of a strategy to contest the 2020 election results that led to Joe Biden’s presidency.

The strategy involved congressional Republicans delaying the certification of Mr. Biden’s electoral victory, a routine process slated for January 6, 2021. The House committee pointed out that Navarro’s allegations of electoral fraud had been consistently debunked by state and local officials.

Another Trump-era official, former campaign strategist Steve Bannon, was also convicted of two counts of contempt for defying the committee’s summons and was sentenced to four months in prison.

However, Bannon has been permitted to remain free while his defense team appeals the decision.

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