Supreme Court Is Ready to Send Trump Ally to Jail

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro‘s last-minute attempt to avoid prison.

Context

Navarro, 74, the ex-president’s former trade adviser and chief White House strategist, was convicted last year on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents and testimony to congressional investigators probing the January 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol, in which a mob of former President Trump’s supporters attempted to halt certification of President Joe Biden‘s 2020 defeat of Trump. Navarro was sentenced in January to four months in prison for defying the House subpoena.

In February, a judge ruled that Navarro must serve the prison sentence despite his pending appeals. He has been ordered to report to a Miami, Florida, prison on Tuesday and will become the first ex-White House official in U.S. history to serve jail time for contempt of Congress.

Navarro became the second top Trump adviser convicted of contempt tied to the House January 6 investigation after Steve Bannon, another strategist for the former president, was found guilty of two criminal counts in July 2022 and sentenced to four months in prison, but has not been jailed.

Stanley Woodward, Navarro’s attorney, declined Newsweek’s request for an interview or comment in an email Monday night.

What We Know

In an opinion released Monday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts denied Navarro’s bid to remain out of jail pending appeal of his conviction.

Roberts, who issued the ruling on his own without referring the matter to the full Supreme Court, said he found no reason to disagree with an appeals court’s decision that Navarro had not “met his burden to establish his entitlement to relief.”

The chief justice also noted in his opinion that it applied only to the emergency application filed last week that asked for Navarro to remain free as he appealed his conviction and did not express a view on the appeal itself.

The application urging the Supreme Court to weigh in came after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously agreed that Navarro must start serving his sentence at a federal prison in Miami. His defense team had argued that the MAGA ally was not a flight risk or a danger to public safety.

Views

Shortly after the Supreme Court opinion was released on Monday, Navarro joined Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of the former president, on the latest episode of Trump Jr.’s podcast Triggered to discuss the looming start of his sentence and promote his new book.

“What I’m just trying to focus on now is just standing tall and doing what I need to get to the other side of it,” Navarro said. “Just thinking about how so many men and women in this country have lost their lives or lost their limbs. I remember when I was in the administration, I had occasion to go up to Walter Reed and I’d see these quadriplegic, paraplegics in the gym, trying to recover their lives and you know, my sacrifice is small compared to them.”

During the episode, which aired live at 6 p.m. on Rumble, Trump Jr. praised Navarro, saying, “I wish we had a billion of you.”

“Honestly, I wish every conservative had your [guts], but more importantly, your heart,” Trump Jr. said. “You’re going away to prison … starting tomorrow. You’re here talking about MAGA’s principles for the next term and how to save our country. I think everyone watching has to understand that because that’s, honestly, that’s a lesson in patriotism right there. I mean, it’s amazing to me.”

Supreme Court Peter Navarro
Peter Navarro, former adviser to ex-President Donald Trump, departs the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on January 25. Navarro was sentenced to four months in prison for defying a House subpoena related…


Anna Moneymaker/Getty

What’s Next?

Navarro must report to federal prison in Miami by 2 p.m. Tuesday. The ex-Trump adviser has vowed that he is “willing to go to prison” to fight his contempt of Congress conviction and his appeal remains pending.

Update 03/18/24, 7:45 p.m. ET: This article was updated to include additional information.