In a recent decision made by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Peter Navarro, a former adviser to ex-President Trump, has been denied his request to postpone his imprisonment. This comes while he challenges his conviction and a four-month prison sentence for two counts of contempt of Congress.
Navarro’s plea for a stay of custody was turned down by Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia following his sentencing last month. Judge Mehta ruled that Navarro’s case does not meet the critical legal threshold—namely, presenting a “substantial question” for appeal—that would warrant his remaining free during the legal proceedings.
Unless the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decides to intervene separately, Navarro is expected to start serving his prison sentence soon. He was convicted for his defiance in providing testimony and documents to the House panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Throughout his trial, Navarro maintained that he was under executive privilege, as purportedly invoked by Donald Trump, and this would exempt him from the contempt charges. He echoed this defense in his recent appeal to stay out of prison.
However, as Judge Mehta underscored in his decision, Navarro failed to provide any evidence that Trump had actually asserted executive privilege in response to the subpoena by the committee. Navarro had multiple opportunities to do so but did not present any such proof.
Additionally, Judge Mehta noted that the presumption of executive privilege on Trump’s part did not constitute a “substantial question” that might influence the appeals court’s decision. Mehta’s ruling clearly indicated that a direct invocation of executive privilege by a President is imperative and uncontested in legal terms.
Navarro’s recent filing did not change the course of his imminent imprisonment, which now looms closer following the judge’s firm ruling on Thursday.