by WorldTribune Staff, July 17, 2022
While Peter Navarro on Friday rejected a plea agreement offer in his contempt of Congress case, the federal judge overseeing the case questioned the FBI’s tactics in arresting the Trump White House adviser.
Navarro objected to his public arrest by FBI agents at Reagan National Airport as he was departing for a speaking engagement in Nashville, Tenn., adding that he was handcuffed, denied food and water and refused permission to make a phone call to a lawyer.
Navarro, who has always been open about his role in contesting the official outcome of the 2020 presidential election on his own time, pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges against him last month.
He rejected an opportunity to plead guilty to just one count and comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee “to the satisfaction of the Justice Department,” Reuters reported.
Navarro stated the plea deal would have included jail time.
Navarro, who served as assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, said in his published memoir that he, Trump and former White House strategist Steve Bannon planned a Green Bay Packers-style political “sweep” to challenge Joe Biden’s supposed Electoral College victory. The goal was to send the contested presidential election results from Congress to state legislatures to be decided.
“I can tell you without equivocation that the winner of the 2020 election is not sitting in the White House today — and that should give all of us pause,” Navarro wrote in his book “Trump Time”.
“It is curious to me, at a minimum, why the government treated Mr. Navarro’s arrest the way it did,” judge Mehta, an Obama appointee, said during the Friday hearing. “It’s surprising that self-surrender was not offered as an opportunity.”
The FBI agents handling the arrest said in an official report that Navarro referred to them as “kind Nazis.”
Federal prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi announced Navarro’s refusal to accept the deal at a status hearing on Friday before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta.
“The government made a perfunctory offer to allow Mr. Navarro to plead guilty and serve time in jail as the penalty for following instructions from the president he served,” a representative for Navarro told the Washington Examiner.
“This is a dispute between the Office of the President and Congress, and Mr. Navarro has been unfairly caught in the cross-fire. The government’s offer is unacceptable, and Mr. Navarro is determined to aggressively defend his rights in court.”
Navarro was arrested last month by FBI agents at Reagan Washington National Airport while preparing for a flight for a speaking engagement in Nashville.
Navarro’s trial is set for Nov. 17. He faces a maximum possible sentence of a year in prison on each count if convicted.
Related: Betrayed by his inner circle: Nuggets from former Trump adviser Navarro’s new book, November 3, 2021
Members of the House Jan. 6 committee have signaled they intend to ask Navarro about his “Green Bay Sweep” plan to challenge the 2020 election that he has discussed in numerous media interviews. Congress voted to hold him in contempt in April over his lack of compliance with the panel’s subpoena.