MSNBC’s Chris Hayes says Peter Navarro was convicted for what might have been one of the most “pointless” crimes of all time.
Navarro, a former White House trade adviser under Donald Trump, was found guilty on Thursday on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack.
Navarro defied a subpoena for documents from the committee and failed to sit for a deposition. The two counts each carry 30 days to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
“Just to be clear here, it’s not like Navarro was hiding his involvement in the coup,” Hayes said on MSNBC Thursday. “He self-published this document full of bogus claims of election fraud that he called the ‘Navarro Report,’ in case anyone wanted to know who wrote it. He wrote about the coup in his book, including his signature political strategy to overturn the election, which he called the Green Bay sweep ― reference to an old football play.”
Navarro also told The Daily Beast in 2021 how he and another former Trump adviser, Steve Bannon, planned to overturn Joe Biden’s election win, Hayes noted, and “appeared on this very network multiple times to discuss the coup.”
“So it’s not like Peter Navarro wasn’t willing to talk about the coup,” Hayes said. “He just wouldn’t talk about it with one group of people ― the Jan. 6 committee.”
He noted that multiple other Trump allies, such as Roger Stone and John Eastman, complied with committee subpoenas but invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Bannon, who also defied a congressional subpoena, was convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress in October and sentenced to four months in prison, though he has been free pending appeal.
“I can’t help but ask: Is this one of the stupidest, most pointless crimes ever committed by anyone?” Hayes asked.
“Even if Navarro wanted to disrupt the investigation, he could have just hired a lawyer for the week, pleaded the Fifth to every question. He’d be we well within his constitutional rights to do so ― others did it. And now he wouldn’t be facing prison time.”