Peter Navarro is indicted for contempt and misconduct before Congress

According to court documents, Peter Navarro, a former top Trump White House aide, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts for contempt of Congress.

Peter Navarro is indicted for contempt and misconduct before Congress

According to court documents, Peter Navarro, a former top Trump White House aide, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts for contempt of Congress.

CBS News learned that former White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows, and former White House Deputy Chief Chief of Staff Dan Scavino won't face prosecution despite being referred to contempt for not appearing before the Jan. 6 select panel. CBS News was informed by a source familiar with the matter that a letter was sent out to the House committee informing them of the U.S. attorney's decision in D.C.

"We find the Justice Department's decision today to indict Peter Navarro correct, but we find the decision not to award Mark Meadows or Dan Scavino for continuing their attack on the rule and law puzzling. "Mr. Meadows, Mr. Scavino have unquestionable relevant knowledge about President Trump’s role in the efforts overturn the 2020 electoral process and the events that occurred on January 6th," stated Bennie G. Thompson (a Democrat from Mississippi) and Liz Cheney (a Wyoming Republican).

Navarro was indicted for contempt after refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House select committee that investigated the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Navarro stated earlier this week that he was under a subpoena by the Washington, D.C. top federal prosecutor to testify before a grand jury and to turn over records relating to the Capitol attack.

After Friday's indictment had been unsealed, Navarro, 72 years old, made his first appearance before a federal court. To avoid costly legal fees, Navarro said he would represent himself and was joined by an attorney appointed by the court.

During the hearing, he vented his anger at the prosecutors calling them "despicable" as well as alleging misconduct by the prosecutor.

Navarro claimed that he told prosecutors to contact a lawyer Wednesday. This seemed to indicate a willingness for him to cooperate with them. However, he was taken into custody at the airport where he intended to board a flight from Nashville to make a television appearance. He claimed that the government was playing "hardball" in pursuit of a "bad faith project."

He requested that his Jan. 6 lawsuit against the Justice Department and the select committee, which was filed this past week, be heard before his criminal cases move forward. He also complained that the timing of the case "flies in front of good faith" and that due process is not followed. He claimed he is caught between two constitutional interpretations for executive privilege.

Navarro called Jan. 6's committee a "sham", and pointed at prosecutors, asked "Who are these people?" This is not America.

He added, "The behavior of those people is unconscionable."

Navarro was not asked for his detention by the government, and he will be released. Although he will not be allowed carry a firearm, he successfully argued that his passport should be kept.

The House Select Committee, which is investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the White House and the events that preceded it, issued a subpoena for Navarro in February. Investigators suspect that Navarro collaborated with Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, to devise a plan to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections. The House committee requested information in February. It also noted that Navarro called the plan the "Green Bay Sweep" in his book and said it was the "last, best chance to steal an election from the Democrats' jaws.

In February, Navarro was subpoenaed by the select committee. He was required to produce documents and appear in March before the committee. Navarro refused to comply with either request.

The first count refers to his refusal of turning over documents. The second count refers to his refusal not to appear before a jury. Navarro could be sentenced to a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of $100,000 fine if he is convicted of each count of contempt.

Steven Bannon was another former top advisor to Trump and was indicted last spring on contempt of Congress charges.

This report was contributed by Melissa Quinn, Andres Triay and Nikole Killion, CBS News.

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