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Ex-Trump White House official convicted of contempt must report to prison, appeals court finds

Published: March 14, 2024, 1:13pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — An appeals court denied Trump White House official Peter Navarro ‘s bid to stave off his jail sentence on contempt of Congress charges Thursday.

Navarro has been ordered to report to a federal prison by March 19. He argued he should stay free as he appeals his conviction for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

But a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. disagreed, finding his appeal wasn’t likely to reverse his conviction. His attorneys did not immediately return messages seeking comment, but have previously indicated he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Navarro was the second Trump aide convicted of contempt of Congress charges. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon previously received a four-month sentence but a different judge allowed him to stay free pending appeal.

Navarro was found guilty of defying a subpoena for documents and a deposition from the House Jan. 6 committee. He served as a White House trade adviser under then-President Donald Trump and later promoted the Republican’s baseless claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Navarro has said he couldn’t cooperate with the committee because Trump had invoked executive privilege. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta barred him from making that argument at trial, however, finding that he didn’t show Trump had actually invoked it.