Appeals court denies Peter Navarro’s bid to avoid reporting to prison next week

Appeals court denies Peter Navarro’s bid to avoid reporting to prison next week - Politics - News

Federal Appeals Court Denies Peter Navarro’s Request to Delay Prison Sentence for Contempt of Congress

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a unanimous decision denying former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro’s request to postpone reporting to a federal prison to serve his four-month sentence for contempt of Congress. The court stated that Navarro had not sufficiently demonstrated why he should remain free while appealing his conviction.

Navarro’s Arguments Rejected by the Court

In their order, circuit judges Patricia Millett, Cornelia Pillard, and Robert Wilkins stated that Navarro “has not shown that his appeal presents substantial questions of law or fact likely to result in reversal, a new trial, a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment, or a reduced sentence of imprisonment.”

Navarro’s Unsuccessful Attempt to Raise Executive Privilege Defense

Navarro had argued that the decision by the federal judge who presided over his case to refuse him the opportunity to assert executive privilege at trial was incorrect. He believed that this potential reversal by the appeals court should keep him out of prison while they considered his arguments. However, the appellate judges rejected all of Navarro’s arguments, implying that they may ultimately rule against him regarding the validity of his conviction.

Background: Navarro’s Contempt of Congress Conviction and Prison Sentence

Navarro was sentenced earlier this year to four months in prison after being convicted in September 2022 of two contempt of Congress counts for failing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The former adviser was ordered to report to prison by March 19, 2023.

Trump’s Support for Navarro

Former President Donald Trump had recently promoted Navarro’s book and publicly backed his attempt to avoid prison time. Trump posted on his Truth Social account, “Peter Navarro had strong views on Protecting our Economy against the assault from Foreign Countries all over the World. He was an absolute master at not allowing the U.S. to get ‘ripped off’ by this onslaught. Peter did his job well, he did it faithfully, and he loved our Country. His Book should be studied, and what he says should be highly respected. Peter Navarro is a Patriot who has been treated very badly, but he continues forward. In the end, there will be Victory!

No Comment from Navarro on the Court’s Decision

Navarro has not yet issued a statement regarding the court’s decision.

This story is continuously updated with new developments.

Additional Context and Background Information

Navarro’s contempt of Congress conviction marked the first instance of a Trump ally being held in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The House Select Committee investigating the incident had demanded that Navarro provide documents and testimony regarding his role in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Navarro’s legal team argued that he was protected by executive privilege, as the documents and testimony related to conversations between Navarro and then-President Trump. However, the House Select Committee claimed that these documents and testimony were necessary for their investigation into the January 6 attack.

After Navarro refused to comply with the subpoena, the House of Representatives voted to hold him in criminal contempt. The case then proceeded to trial in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Navarro’s legal team maintained that executive privilege protected him from testifying, and they also argued that the subpoena was overly broad and violated Navarro’s constitutional rights. However, the federal judge overseeing the case ultimately ruled against Navarro, concluding that he was required to comply with the subpoena and face potential contempt charges if he failed to do so.

Navarro’s legal team filed an appeal of the conviction, arguing that the court had erred in its interpretation of executive privilege and in its assessment of the constitutional issues involved. The three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals considered Navarro’s arguments but ultimately denied his request to delay the prison sentence.


The DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ denial of Peter Navarro’s request to delay his prison sentence marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Navarro’s legal team had argued that executive privilege and constitutional concerns warranted a delay in his reporting to prison, but the court was not convinced. The case is expected to continue unfolding as Navarro’s legal team appeals the conviction and prepares for any potential further legal proceedings.