Peter Navarro Speaks Out One Last Time Before Reporting To Prison

[Screenshot/Scripps News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Peter Navarro, a former Trump White House official, spoke out shortly before reporting to prison Tuesday.

Navarro was sentenced on Jan. 25 to four months in prison and ordered to pay $9,500 for contempt of Congress after defying a Jan. 6 congressional subpoena. On Tuesday morning, The former trade adviser argued the separation of powers does not grant Congress the power to compel an official of the executive branch to testify.

“It was only with my case that somehow that has changed,” Navarro said. “And here’s where the homework is, because the big constitutional separation of powers are these. Can Congress compel a senior White House adviser, what you call the alter ego of a president, to testify before Congress and executive privilege goes back to George Washington and his remarks to the Congress regarding the Jay Treaty, and he said very simply, succinctly, elegantly, that right to the Congress he said I cannot command you, as members of Congress, to come to me. You cannot command me to come to you and the reason is the constitutional separation of powers.”

Navarro said he presented a “mountain” of evidence in his testimony to argue in favor of executive privilege, and he criticized U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, who ruled against him. He further said the judge stripped him of defense before the case got to a judge. (RELATED: Judge Denies Peter Navarro’s Request To Stay Out Of Prison) 

“And at the end of that day, the judge made the novel choice to say privilege had not been involved and it was absurd. It was probably the most absurd element of this case, so the appeals court and Supreme Court will ponder that issue and it’s a really important issue,” he added.

Mehta said the phrase “executive privilege” is not a “magical incantation” or a “get out of jail free card” to defy a subpoena, according to NBC News.

“What I find disappointing is that in all of this, even today, there’s little acknowledgment of what your obligation is as an American – to cooperate with Congress, to provide them with information that they’re seeking,” Mehta reportedly said. “Fine, you think it’s a political hatchet job, it’s domestic terrorists running the committee. They had a job to do and you made it harder. It’s really that simple.”

Prosecutors alleged Navarro “exacerbated” the “assault” on the rule of law by defying the subpoena, saying he in turn deserved “severe punishment.”

Reports of Navarro’s jail sentence came about at the same time that Hunter Biden agreed to testify before Congress after House Republicans planned on holding him in contempt for denying a subpoena in December.