early and often

Peter Navarro Got Arrested for Contempt of Congress

Photo: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Trump adviser and trade-war enthusiast Peter Navarro was arrested by the FBI on Friday following charges brought by federal prosecutors for criminal contempt of Congress after he refused to cooperate with the House panel investigating the Capitol riot.

Navarro is now the second of Donald Trump’s advisers to be indicted for criminal contempt of Congress for ignoring a Capitol Riot Committee subpoena, following the indictment of co-conspirator Steve Bannon, whose trial is set to begin on July 18. The House has also voted to hold in contempt former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump aide Dan Scavino, though they have not been indicted. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Navarro described the subpoena as “unlawful.”

Investigators sought documents and testimony about Navarro’s role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and stay in power. In his 2021 memoir about the last year of the Trump administration, he wrote that he and Steve Bannon were behind the failed vote in Congress on January 6 to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. In communication with the House panel, he has said that he could not cooperate because Trump had asserted executive privilege over such matters. Investigators responded saying that he wrote about much of what they wanted to discuss in his book.

Navarro was the principal China trade hawk during the Trump administration, reportedly pushing to ban TikTok and arguing for hard-line protectionist measures to the point that officials in Beijing refused to negotiate with him. He also stepped outside his area of expertise, fighting with Dr. Anthony Fauci in public and egging on Trump’s promotion of an untested COVID-19 treatment. In an interview earlier this week revealing that he had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors, he told MSNBC host Ari Melber that “you can bet your ass that I will lead the charge” to subpoena Democrats if Republicans return to power in Washington. “We’ll start with the impeachment of Biden for Ukraine, the southern border, all manner of things he is guilty of and we’ll subpoena his senior staff,” he said.

Peter Navarro Got Arrested for Contempt of Congress