Joker: Peter Navarro, Convicted Trump Advisor, Promoted Election Fraud to Overturn 2020 Election

 

 

 

“You know, that may be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.”

– Joseph Heller, Catch-22

 

2021:

On January 2, 2021, Trump held a one-hour phone call with Raffensperger. Trump was joined by chief of staff Mark Meadows, trade adviser Peter Navarro, Justice Department official John Lott, law professor John C. Eastman, and attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Cleta Mitchell, Alex Kaufman, and Kurt Hilbert. [Boldface added]

The infamous call that Trump placed to Raffensperger was in part focused on having Raffensperger re-certify the result. Instead of the Biden electors, Raffensperger would re-certify the Trump electors, sending them to Congress on Jan. 6.

“Under the law you’re not allowed to give faulty election results, OK? You’re not allowed to do that. And that’s what you done,” Trump told Raffensperger on the infamous Jan. 2 phone call. “This is a faulty election result. And honestly, this should go very fast. You should meet tomorrow because you have a big election coming up and because of what you’ve done to the president.”

 

Justice Roberts rejects Navarro’s last-ditch bid to stay out of prison

Justice Roberts rejects Navarro’s last-ditch bid to stay out of prison

Navarro has been ordered to report to a Miami prison Tuesday afternoon to begin his sentence, which will make him the first key adviser to former President Trump to serve jail time over efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“This application concerns only the question of whether the applicant, Peter Navarro, has met his burden to establish his entitlement to relief under the Bail Reform Act,” Roberts wrote, citing an appeals court’s determination that Navarro “forfeited” any argument challenging the district court’s conclusion that executive privilege was not invoked by Trump.

“I see no basis to disagree with the determination that Navarro forfeited those arguments in the release proceeding, which is distinct from his pending appeal on the merits.”

Roberts received Navarro’s bid to avoid prison because Roberts handles emergency matters arising from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

Though just one paragraph, it is the first time in a decade Roberts has published an “in-chambers” opinion, a written explanation for his ruling on a case he didn’t refer to the full court for consideration.

Navarro, 74, was found guilty last year of two counts for refusing to comply with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol — one for failing to produce documents related to the probe and another for skipping his deposition.

 

Peter Navarro ordered to prison on March 19

Peter Navarro ordered to prison on March 19

 

Peter Navarro, once an economic adviser to former President Trump, has been ordered to report to a Miami prison March 19 to begin serving a four-month sentence for refusing to comply with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Navarro, 74, was convicted last year on two counts of contempt of Congress — one for failing to produce documents related to the probe and another for skipping his deposition.

His lawyers wrote in a Sunday court filing that a federal appeals court should temporarily put his sentence on hold while he appeals his conviction. If that effort fails, he could become the first key Trump adviser to serve jail time over efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who oversaw Navarro’s trial, declined to allow the Trump ally to stay out of prison while the appellate process plays out.

Navarro’s counsel had argued that the question of executive privilege, which Navarro claimed Trump invoked over any testimony to the House Jan. 6 panel, rises to that threshold.

The judge disagreed, ruling last month that Navarro’s appeal does not raise a “substantial question of law” and therefore doesn’t warrant his release.

Ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon was also convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress last year and sentenced to four months in prison, but a different judge said he could remain free pending appeal. Bannon argued his case before a federal appeals court in November and still has not served any time.

At trial, prosecutors asserted Navarro showed “utter disregard” for the House committee’s probe and “utter contempt for the rule of law.”

Ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro sentenced to 4 months in prison over House Jan. 6 probe

Ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro sentenced to 4 months in prison over House Jan. 6 probe

 

Peter Navarro, a onetime adviser to former President Trump, was sentenced Thursday to four months in prison for refusing to comply with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Navarro was convicted in September on two counts of contempt of Congress — one for failing to produce documents related to the probe and another for skipping his deposition. 

Prosecutors argued Thursday that Navarro showed “utter disregard” for the House committee’s probe and “utter contempt for the rule of law.” They asked the judge to impose a six-month prison term.

“The committee was investigating an attack on the very foundation of our democracy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said. “There could be no more serious investigation undertaken by Congress.”

The same sentence was recommended for Steve Bannon, a former White House adviser who was also convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress last year. 

A federal judge sentenced Bannon to four months in prison, the same term Navarro received. However, he has not yet served that time because the judge said he could remain free pending appeal. In November, Bannon’s attorney argued before a federal appeals court that he should not have to serve jail time because he was merely following legal advice.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said he would decide whether Navarro’s sentence will be deferred after his counsel submits its arguments in writing. The ex-Trump adviser was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine.

The Justice Department also forcefully denied that the prosecution was influenced by politics — something Navarro has suggested in court filings and public remarks. Mehta chided Navarro and his counsel Thursday for blaming politics. 

“It’s unfortunate that the statements mislead. They mislead,” Mehta said. “Nancy Pelosi is not responsible for this prosecution; Joe Biden isn’t responsible for the prosecution. It’s those kinds of statements from someone who knows better … that contributes to why our politics are so divisive.”

“Punishing Dr. Navarro won’t fix or change that,” Navarro attorney Stanley Woodward later said of the political climate.

Like at trial, Navarro’s counsel argued Thursday that the ex-Trump adviser believed he should not comply with the House committee’s subpoena due to executive privilege. 

“When I received that congressional subpoena … I had an honest belief that the privilege had been invoked,” Navarro told Mehta in brief remarks, made against his counsel’s advice. 

 

Peter Navarro’s Play For A Trump Pardon Shows How Broken Things Really Are

Navarro Convicted Of Contempt Of Congress

DAVID KURTZ

Sept. 8, 2023

TPM Morning Memo

[Excerpt:]

I’ve not seen a stupider white-collar criminal than Navarro. He refused to comply with the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena. He couldn’t get Trump to assert executive privilege on his behalf. He went to trial with no defenses. He put on no witnesses. The jury deliberated for about four hours before convicting him on both counts of contempt of Congress. He’s due to be sentenced in January.

But I’m not here to dunk on Navarro. It’s too easy. It feels unkind. I can’t quite muster sympathy because he’s done it to himself. But there are larger forces at play here. Let’s talk about those.

Navarro is aiming for a double bank shot: 1) Trump wins election in 2024; and 2) Trump pardons him. It’s a risky bet, on both counts. In Trump we trust. Good luck with that.

Navarro is not alone. A host of Jan. 6 defendants, Trump sycophants and assorted hangers-on are banking on Trump winning and granting them pardons. It’s an “issue” in the GOP presidential primary insofar as candidates are preening over who would do the most to pardon Trump-era wrongdoers.

Peter Navarro says Trump told him to assert privilege during Jan. 6 committee investigation

BY PAULINA SMOLINSKI, ROBERT LEGARE

Washington — Former top Trump White House economic adviser Peter Navarro told a federal judge that Donald Trump made it “very clear” that he wanted Navarro to invoke certain privileges and not respond to a congressional subpoena from the now-defunct House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.Navarro testified Monday that on Feb. 20, 2022 — 11 days after he was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee — he called Trump and spoke with him for three minutes.“It was clear during that call that privilege was invoked, very clear,” Navarro said.Navarro took the stand in an evidentiary hearing in which his legal team urged federal Judge Amit Mehta to allow Navarro to defend himself at his contempt of Congress trial by stating that Trump told him not to comply with the committee’s subpoena. Navarro said he had a meeting with Trump on April 5, 2022, where “there was no question that privilege had been invoked from the get-go,” referring to Trump as “boss” and characterizing the conversation as one where Trump did most of the talking. The select committee first subpoenaed Navarro for records and testimony in February 2022 as part of its investigation into efforts to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. After refusing to comply with the requests, Navarro was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress and pleaded not guilty. His trial is set to begin Sept. 5, and the parties are estimating the proceedings will take just days to complete. Prosecutors had urged the court not to hold Monday’s evidentiary hearing at all, arguing Navarro had not provided the court with any actual evidence that Trump had actually invoked executive privilege or testimonial immunity — certain protections afforded to presidents in specific scenarios — over Navarro’s response to the congressional subpoena.But in a ruling last month, Mehta wrote, “The court…will permit Defendant, through his own testimony or other evidence, to establish the factual predicate for the actual, proper invocation of executive privilege or testimonial immunity, or both, by the former President.”Judge Mehta raised questions about the existence of any documented evidence substantiating Navarro’s claim that Trump directed the invocation of the privileges. “I still don’t have any inkling of what the president’s words were,” he said.

Stanley Woodward, Navarro’s defense attorney, said that he, too, wished there were more physical documentation of the executive privilege, but he argued that the “unconventional approach” did not invalidate Navarro’s right to defend himself by saying he thought he had been formally restricted from speaking to Congress. 

When asked about his communication with Trump, Navarro said he did not email him directly and communicated with him through his aides, adding, “He’s not a text guy.”

But the Justice Department said there was nothing to prove that Trump even saw the Jan. 6 subpoena, much less evidence that supports the claim that he formally shielded Navarro from testimony. 

The defense contended that it would have been “inconceivable” that Trump would grant executive privilege to all his other senior advisers who had been  subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 House select committee and not to Navarro. Notably, in a separate hearing in the courtroom adjacent to the one where Navarro was testifying, federal prosecutors in Trump’s prosecution revealed the former president’s legal team had mounted multiple sealed court battles over assertions of executive privilege in an unsuccessful attempt to stop a number of grand jury witnesses from testifying in the special counsel’s probe. 

Before Monday’s hearing, Mehta ruled that Navarro would need to show formal, concrete proof during Monday’s hearing that such protections had been invoked to make the privilege or immunity defense at trial. Mehta also specified that any argument about testimonial immunity would only apply to the second count for which Navarro was charged — related to his refusal to testify — and the first count, related to the production of relevant records, would be subject only to executive privilege.

The judge said he would rule on whether Navarro could use the privilege and immunity defenses at his upcoming trial in the coming days.

Judge Mehta said that what made the case “odd” was that no one was denying that Navarro believed that he had executive privilege. 

Navarro is the second Trump ally to be prosecuted for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the former House Select Committee. 

Steve Bannon was convicted last year of two counts of contempt of Congress after he, like Navarro, did not hand over requested documents or sit for a deposition. His sentencing hearing has been suspended as he appeals his guilty verdict to a higher court. 

Other Trump aides, Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, were referred by Congress to the Justice Department for contempt charges but were not ultimately charged.

Each count Navarro faces carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

 

Peter Navarro Is Fighting For What, Exactly?

TPM Memo

March 27, 2023

Peter Navarro, the Trump adviser under indictment for ignoring a House January 6 Committee subpoena, has refused in a separate lawsuit to return documents that he squirreled away as the Trump administration ended.

The DOJ replied below:Kyle Cheney @kyledcheney

JUST IN: DOJ pushes back on Peter NAVARRO’s effort to resist returning several hundred presidential records he’s kept since leaving Trump White House. A judge ordered him to return them last week but Navarro is appealing.

 

Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Indictments for Witnesses In Trump Election Case

The report doesn’t say whether Trump himself should be indicted for interfering in the 2020 election, but jurors said witnesses who lied about what happened should be prosecuted.

 

How The Fake Electors Scheme Explains Everything About Trump’s Attempt To Steal The 2020 Election

New materials illustrate why Fani Willis and Jack Smith have focused on this esoteric part of Trump’s plot.

Josh Kovensky

February 10, 2023

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/how-the-fake-electors-scheme-explains-everything-about-trumps-attempt-to-steal-the-2020-election?

 

Peter Navarro Trashes Trump’s Chiefs and ‘Cabinet of Clowns’

In Peter Navarro’s new book, the former White House trade adviser doesn’t hold back when criticizing many of Trump’s top staffers.

By Zachary Petrizzo  

Published Sep. 13, 2022 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/peter-navarro-trashes-donald-trumps-chiefs-and-cabinet-of-clowns-mick-mulvaney-mark-meadows-john-kelly

[Excerpt:]

Still, Navarro says the title of worst chief of staff is “probably more of a dead heat between Meadows, Mulvaney, and Kelly.”

 

Navarro Seriously Cites His Jan. 6 Book Tour in Bid for Trial Delay

The former Trump White House official’s attempt to delay his trial met stiff resistance from federal prosecutors on Friday.

[Excerpt:]

Navarro used his relatively obscure White House post as head of Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy in the closing weeks of the Trump administration to whip up an official “report” documenting an alleged mass voter fraud that allowed Joe Biden to win the 2020 presidential election—a lengthy screed that cites disproven conspiracy theories.

He then wrote a book about his experience at the White House that detailed his secret plan—after former President Donald Trump’s election loss—to keep him in power. The plan, which he dubbed “the Green Bay Sweep,” was to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to misuse his role as the person officially counting electoral ballots and instead reject them, delaying the certification of Biden’s victory and giving Republican-controlled state legislatures time to overturn the election.

When The Daily Beast questioned him further about the plan in December 2021, Navarro revealed that right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon had helped him develop the blueprint and that Trump himself “was certainly on board with the strategy.”

 

Peter Navarro, who as a White House adviser to President Donald J. Trump worked to keep Mr. Trump in office after his defeat in the 2020 election, disclosed on Monday that he has been summoned to testify on Thursday to a federal grand jury and to provide prosecutors with any records he has related to the attack on the Capitol last year, including “any communications” with Mr. Trump.

The subpoena to Mr. Navarro — which he said the F.B.I. served at his house last week — seeks his testimony about materials related to the buildup to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and signals that the Justice Department investigation may be progressing to include activities of people in the White House.

Mr. Navarro revealed the existence of the subpoena in a draft of a lawsuit he said he is preparing to file against the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Matthew M. Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Navarro, who plans to represent himself in the suit, is hoping to persuade a federal judge to block the subpoena, which he calls the “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

The Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

The grand jury’s subpoena, Mr. Navarro said, builds on a separate subpoena issued to him in February by the committee. That subpoena sought documents and testimony about an effort to overturn the election nicknamed the “Green Bay Sweep,” and a Jan. 2, 2021, call that Mr. Navarro participated in with Mr. Trump and his lawyers in which they attempted to persuade hundreds of state lawmakers to join the effort.

Mr. Navarro has refused to cooperate with the committee. He was found in contempt of Congress, and the House referred the contempt case to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. In his draft lawsuit, he called the committee’s subpoena “illegal and unenforceable.”

Mr. Navarro said the grand jury subpoena was directly related to the contempt of Congress referral. Asked if he planned to comply and appear on Thursday to testify, Mr. Navarro responded, “T.B.D.”

The subpoena is the latest sign the Justice Department’s investigation into the attack has moved beyond the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol. Federal prosectors have charged more than 800 people in connection with the attack.

The subpoena sent last week to Mr. Navarro is the first known to have been issued in connection to the department’s Jan. 6 investigations to someone who worked in the Trump White House. But it follows others issued to people connected to various strands of the sprawling investigation of the Capitol attack and its prelude.

In April, Ali Alexander, a prominent “Stop the Steal” organizer, revealed that he had been served with his own grand jury subpoena, asking for records about people who organized, spoke at or provided security for pro-Trump rallies in Washington after the election, including Mr. Trump’s incendiary event near the White House on Jan. 6.

Mr. Alexander’s subpoena also sought records about members of the executive or legislative branches who may have helped to plan or execute the rallies, or who tried to “obstruct, influence, impede or delay” the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Last week, word emerged that the same grand jury, sitting in Washington, had more recently issued a different set of subpoenas requesting information about the role that a group of lawyers close to Mr. Trump may have had played in a plan to create alternate slates of pro-Trump electors in key swing states that were won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The lawyers named in the subpoena included Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani; Jenna Ellis, who worked with Mr. Giuliani; John Eastman, one of the former president’s chief legal advisers during the postelection period; and Kenneth Chesebro, who wrote a pair of memos laying out the details of the plan.

Those subpoenas also requested information about any members of the Trump campaign who may been involved with the alternate elector scheme and about several Republican officials in Georgia who took part in it, including David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.

Mr. Navarro’s subpoena, by his own account, was issued by a different grand jury.

In the draft of the suit he said he intends to file, he argues that only Mr. Trump can authorize him to testify. He asks a judge to instruct Mr. Graves, the U.S. attorney in Washington, to negotiate his appearance with Mr. Trump. Mr. Navarro cites Mr. Trump’s invocation of executive privilege over materials related to the attack on the Capitol.

“The executive privilege invoked by President Trump is not mine or Joe Biden’s to waive,” Mr. Navarro writes. “Rather, as with the committee, the U.S. attorney has constitutional and due process obligations to negotiate my appearance.”

An effort by Mr. Trump to block release of White House materials related to the Jan. 6 attack on the grounds of executive privilege was rejected by a federal appeals court in January, and the Supreme Court denied Mr. Trump’s request for a stay of the decision.

Mr. Navarro, who helped coordinate the Trump administration’s pandemic response through his role overseeing the Defense Production Act, has insisted that the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was not part of the plans he backed, which he said included having Vice President Mike Pence reject electors for Mr. Biden when Congress met in a joint session to formally count them.

In a book, Mr. Navarro wrote that the idea for the “Green Bay Sweep” was for Mr. Pence to be the “quarterback” of the plan and “put certification of the election on ice for at least another several weeks while Congress and the various state legislatures involved investigate all of the fraud and election irregularities.”

Mr. Navarro also wrote a 36-page report claiming election fraud as part of what he called an “Immaculate Deception.” In an interview with The New York Times, he said he relied on “thousands of affidavits” from Mr. Giuliani, and Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York police commissioner, to help produce the report, which claimed there “may well have been a coordinated strategy to effectively stack the election deck against the Trump-Pence ticket.”

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and the Jan. 6 committee described the claims in Mr. Navarro’s report as having been “discredited in public reporting, by state officials and courts.”

Mr. Navarro said that he made sure Republican members of Congress received a copy of his report and that more than 100 members of Congress had signed on to the plans. (Ultimately, 147 Republican members of Congress objected to certifying at least one state for Mr. Biden.)

An aide to Mr. Navarro was also in contact with a group of Trump allies who were pushing for the former president to order the seizure of voting machines.

 

House votes to hold ex-Trump aides Navarro, Scavino in contempt of Congress

 

Yes, Merrick Garland can prosecute Mark Meadows (and Peter Navarro, and Dan Scavino)

He should, too.

By Ian Millhiser  

Mar 31, 2022, 

https://www.vox.com/23001850/supreme-court-contempt-congress-merrick-garland-mark-meadows-peter-navarro-dan-scavino-january-6

[Excerpts:]

Indeed, Navarro is openly hoping that his status as a former consigliere to a sitting president will rescue him from contempt charges. The subpoena, he misleadingly claimed, is “predicated on the ridiculous legal premise that Joe Biden can waive Donald Trump’s Executive Privilege,” before predicting that “the Supreme Court will say otherwise when the time comes.”

There are several reasons to doubt that Navarro’s prediction will prove accurate. While the GOP-controlled Supreme Court was quite protective of Trump while the former president was in office, effectively thwarting a House-led investigation that sought his financial records until after Trump left office, the Court broke with Trump in a January 6-related case after he left office.

That case, Trump v. Thompson, permitted the January 6 committee to obtain hundreds of pages of Trump White House records that were held by the National Archives.

Navarro is also wrong that President Biden’s views are irrelevant to whether Navarro can hide behind executive privilege. Though the Supreme Court held in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services (GSA) (1977) that this privilege “survives the individual President’s tenure,” the GSA case also held that a former president’s power to keep their staff’s deliberations secret is much less potent than a sitting president’s power to do so. And it is especially weak when the sitting president believes that a former administration’s deliberations should not remain secret.

So, while Biden doesn’t have the authority to completely override Trump’s assertions of executive privilege, courts typically afford considerable deference to a sitting president’s determination that a past president should not be allowed to claim the privilege.

On top of these two problems for Navarro, it’s far from clear that Navarro’s actions are even covered by the executive privilege. Though communications between a president and their top aides are often privileged, according to a federal appeals court, that privilege only applies to communications concerning “official government matters.” Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election fall outside of a president’s official duties.

Read More

 

So it is likely, if not entirely certain, that if the Justice Department decided to prosecute Meadows, Navarro, and Scavino, the courts would not bail out these three former officials.

The biggest obstacle facing prosecutors would most likely be the potential for jury nullification — a jury that includes staunch Trump supporters may refuse to convict, potentially hanging the jury, no matter how strong the evidence against former Trump aides. Perhaps that explains Garland’s caution, because case law strongly supports allowing such a prosecution to move forward.

The Supreme Court does have a Republican majority that could still bend the law to thwart an investigation into the former GOP president. But the Thompson case suggests that even this Supreme Court may be reluctant to do so.

Executive privilege, briefly explained

Executive privilege permits presidents — both sitting and former — to keep certain communications among their subordinates confidential. As the Court explained in United States v. Nixon (1974), the privilege exists to ensure that presidents receive candid advice. “Those who expect public dissemination of their remarks,” the 1974 Nixon case explained, “may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process.”

But Nixon also held that the privilege is neither “absolute” nor “unqualified.” In that case, the Supreme Court ordered then-sitting President Richard Nixon to turn over tape recordings that incriminated him and eventually led to his resignation. “Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets,” the Nixon case held, the justice system’s need to conduct a full investigation into the Watergate scandal, and to prosecute any crimes committed during the course of that scandal, overcame the presidency’s interest in keeping Nixon’s communications secret.

A few years later, in the GSA case, the Court added that executive privilege “is not for the benefit of the President as an individual, but for the benefit of the Republic.” Thus, if a president seeks to keep secret their own efforts to harm the republic, the privilege should not apply.

GSA also explains how courts should treat executive privilege claims by a former president. The current president, the Court reasoned in GSA, is the best caretaker of the presidency’s institutional interests. And “it must be presumed that the incumbent President is vitally concerned with and in the best position to assess the present and future needs of the Executive Branch, and to support invocation of the privilege accordingly.”

Earlier this year, President Biden determined that “an assertion of executive privilege is not in the national interest, and therefore is not justified, with respect to particular subjects within the purview of the Select Committee” investigating the January 6 attack. So, even if Trump attempts to rescue Navarro and Scavino by asserting executive privilege, his ability to do so is weakened significantly because he is at odds with the sitting president.

The judiciary’s leading authority on Trump’s ability to resist subpoenas may be Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

As noted above, the Supreme Court effectively prevented House investigators — and the voters more broadly — from learning about Trump’s personal finances in Trump v. Mazars (2020). After Trump left office, however, the Court appeared to reverse course and allow House investigations into Trump to proceed in the Thompson case.

By sheer coincidence — appellate judges are typically randomly assigned to cases — one of the lower court judges who ruled against Trump in Thompson was Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Jackson also ruled in an earlier case, Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn, that top presidential aides are not immune from congressional subpoenas. Both decisions offer some insight into how the courts might approach a prosecution of Navarro and Scavino.

Judge Jackson’s decision in McGahn, which was handed down while she was still a federal trial judge, was fairly measured. Although she rejected the Trump administration’s claim that “a President’s senior-level aides have absolute testimonial immunity” from a congressional subpoena, she also determined that executive privilege might allow them to refuse to answer certain questions.

Under Jackson’s approach, which is the same approach taken by the January 6 committee, a top presidential aide subpoenaed by Congress must physically show up to testify. But “the specific information that high-level presidential aides may be asked to provide in the context of such questioning can be withheld from the committee on the basis of a valid privilege.” (The correctness of Jackson’s McGahn opinion was never fully resolved on appeal, in part because of competing appeals court decisions, and in part because McGahn agreed to voluntarily testify after Trump left office.)

So, if Navarro and Scavino had complied with the subpoena, it is possible that some of the information sought by the committee might be protected by executive privilege. But, at least under Jackson’s approach, they cannot simply refuse to show up — and can be held in contempt of Congress for their refusal.

In Thompson, meanwhile, the Supreme Court handed down a brief, one-paragraph order that offers only limited insight into why the Court ruled against Trump. But the justices’ brief order in Thompson seemed to credit the lower appeals court’s decision — the decision that was joined by Judge Jackson — which determined that “President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent.”

Among other things, the appeals court ruled that Congress has a “uniquely weighty interest in investigating the causes and circumstances of the January 6th attack so that it can adopt measures to better protect the Capitol Complex, prevent similar harm in the future, and ensure the peaceful transfer of power.” The House, that court explained, “is investigating the single most deadly attack on the Capitol by domestic forces in the history of the United States.”

Thus, the country’s overriding interest in fully understanding how this attack happened is strong enough to overcome even a sitting president’s claim of executive privilege.

So, while it remains to be seen whether Navarro and Scavino will be indicted, and while it is always possible that the Supreme Court’s Republican majority will intervene on their behalf, such an outcome seems unlikely. The Court broke with Trump on the January 6 attack in Thompson, and the same factors that guided the Court’s decision in Thompson should also control any claim by Navarro and Scavino that they cannot be prosecuted due to executive privilege.

 

The Jan. 6 House panel focuses on Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino

By A Martínez, Deirdre Walsh

March 28, 2022 

https://www.iowapublicradio.org/news-from-npr/2022-03-28/the-jan-6-house-panel-focuses-on-peter-navarro-and-dan-scavino

[Excerpt:]

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol tonight will hold its first public meeting since December to consider referring two senior Trump White House officials to the Justice Department for criminal contempt. Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino have refused to comply with subpoenas to appear before the panel and produce documents. NPR’s Deirdre Walsh covers Congress. She’s here to tell us where this sprawling investigation stands. All right, so why is the committee focused on Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino?

DEIRDRE WALSH, BYLINE: Good morning, A. The House committee put out a report last night, and it details the evidence about these two individuals and their roles. Navarro was former President Trump’s top trade adviser. He’s talked publicly in a book that he wrote about his involvement in trying to delay the certification of the electoral count. The committee sent him a subpoena in February, but he’s been arguing that he’s covered by executive privilege. In his book, Navarro described working closely with Trump’s adviser, Steve Bannon, and he claimed that more than a hundred members of Congress were trying to support efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

In terms of Scavino, the committee says it has evidence that he spoke with the former president several times on January 6. It also talks about how he had credentials to post on the president’s social media channels and listed several tweets leading up to January 6. They also say Scavino had a history of monitoring websites that openly advocated and planned violence in the weeks leading up to the insurrection.

MARTINEZ: What is the process once the committee votes to approve a criminal referral resolution?

WALSH: Well, we expect tonight the committee may reveal more details about what they’ve learned, from others who are cooperating, about the roles Navarro and Scavino played. Once the committee approves the report, it goes to the House floor for a vote, and that could happen soon. Then it’s up to the Justice Department to decide if they’re going to prosecute. The committee’s referred three other individuals for criminal contempt of Congress – Steve Bannon, who was indicted, former justice official Jeffrey Clark and Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff.

MARTINEZ: And speaking of Mark Meadows, last week there was news that the committee had nearly 30 text messages between Meadows and Ginni Thomas, the wife of Clarence Thomas, with Ginni Thomas urging Meadows to take steps to fight the election results. So what’s been the fallout?

WALSH: Yeah, I mean, those messages and the content were pretty stunning. NPR confirmed the content of them. They were first reported by The Washington Post, CBS and CNN. We’ve reached out to Ginni Thomas and Justice Thomas through the court but have not received any response. We’ve learned, talking to sources familiar with the committee’s discussions, there hasn’t been a decision yet now about whether to ask Ginni Thomas to appear or send a subpoena. But we could hear more about that tonight.

 

Trump White House aide was secret author of report used to push ‘big lie’

Report on Dominion voting machines produced after 2020 election was not the work of volunteer in Trump’s post-election legal team

By Hugo Lowell

March 17, 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/16/trump-white-house-aide-secret-author-dominion-report

 

Weeks after the 2020 election, at least one Trump White House aide was named as secretly producing a report that alleged Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden because of Dominion Voting Systems – research that formed the basis of the former president’s wider efforts to overturn the election.

The Dominion report, subtitled “OVERVIEW 12/2/20 – History, Executives, Vote Manipulation Ability and Design, Foreign Ties”, was initially prepared so that it could be sent to legislatures in states where the Trump White House was trying to have Biden’s win reversed.

Trump lawyer knew plan to delay Biden certification was unlawful, emails show

Read more

But top Trump officials would also use the research that stemmed from the White House aide-produced report to weigh other options to return Trump to the presidency, including having the former president sign off on executive orders to authorize sweeping emergency powers.

The previously unreported involvement of the Trump White House aide in the preparation of the Dominion report raises the extraordinary situation of at least one administration official being among the original sources of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The publicly available version of the Dominion report, which first surfaced in early December 2020 on the conservative outlet the Gateway Pundit, names on the cover and in metadata as its author Katherine Friess, a volunteer on the Trump post-election legal team.

But the Dominion report was in fact produced by the senior Trump White House policy aide Joanna Miller, according to the original version of the document reviewed by the Guardian and a source familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

he original version of the Dominion report named Miller – who worked for the senior Trump adviser Peter Navarro – as the author on the cover page, until her name was abruptly replaced with that of Friess before the document was to be released publicly, the source said.

The involvement of a number of other Trump White House aides who worked in Navarro’s office was also scrubbed around that time, the source said. Friess has told the Daily Beast that she had nothing to do with the report and did not know how her name came to be on the document.

It was not clear why Miller’s name was removed from the report, which was sent to Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani on 29 November 2020, or why the White House aide’s involvement was obfuscated in the final 2 December version.

Miller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Dominion report made a number of unsubstantiated allegations that claimed Dominion Voting Systems corruptly ensured there could be “technology glitches which resulted in thousands of votes being added to Joe Biden’s total ballot count”.

Citing unnamed Venezuelan officials, the report also pushed the conspiracy theory that Dominion Voting Systems used software from the election company Smartmatic and had ties to “state-run Venezuelan software and telecommunications companies”.

After the Dominion report became public, Navarro incorporated the claims into his own three-part report, produced with assistance from his aides at the White House, including Miller and another policy aide, Garrett Ziegler, the source said.

Ziegler has also said on a rightwing podcast that he and others in Navarro’s office – seemingly referring to Trump White House aides Christopher Abbott and Hannah Robertson – started working on Navarro’s report about two weeks before the 2020 election took place.

“Two weeks before the election, we were doing those reports hoping that we would pepper the swing states with those,” Ziegler said of the three-part Navarro report in an appearance last July on The Professor’s Record with David K Clements.

The research in the Dominion report also formed the backbone of foreign election interference claims by the former Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell, who argued Trump could, as a result, assume emergency presidential powers and suspend normal law.

That included Trump’s executive order 13848, which authorized sweeping powers in the event of foreign election interference, as well as a draft executive order that would have authorized the seizure of voting machines, the Guardian has previously reported.

The claims about Venezuela in the Dominion report appear to have spurred Powell to ask Trump at a 18 December 2020 meeting at the White House – coincidentally facilitated by Ziegler – that she be appointed special counsel to investigate election fraud.

Miller’s authorship of the Dominion report was not the last time the Trump White House, or individuals in the administration, prepared materials to advance the former president’s claims about a stolen election and efforts to return himself to office.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack revealed last year it had found evidence the White House Communications Agency produced a letter for the Trump justice department official Jeffrey Clark to use to pressure states to decertify Biden’s election win.

 

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump adviser Peter Navarro

Navarro wanted Mike Pence to challenge the counting of votes on Jan. 6.

By Benjamin Siegel

February 9, 2022

Capitol insurrection: Tracking the attack 1 year later

On Jan. 6, 2021, pro-Trump rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol. The attack resulted in dea…Read More

Drew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday subpoenaed Trump White House official Peter Navarro for records and testimony.

Navarro, who served as President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, supported the former president’s unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump through widespread voter fraud.

In addition to producing multiple reports of unproven voter fraud claims for Trump, Navarro, in his memoir, claimed to have come up with a plan with Trump ally Steve Bannon to contest the election results by delaying the Jan. 6 certification of the Electoral College vote in order to keep Trump in office.

“Mr. Navarro appears to have information directly relevant to the Select Committee’s investigation into the causes of the January 6th attack on the Capitol,” said

“President Trump has invoked Executive Privilege; and it is not my privilege to waive,” Navarro said in a statement to ABC News regarding the subpoena. “They should negotiate any waiver of the privilege with the president and his attorneys directly, not through me.”

Under Navarro’s plan, dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep,” former Vice President Mike Pence was to send disputed election results back to the states, thereby forcing hours of debate on Capitol Hill.

MORE: Former White House press aide appears before Jan. 6 committee

“It was a perfect plan,” Navarro said in an interview late last year with the Daily Beast. “And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protesters, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”

But rioters disrupted the official count, and when the proceedings resumed, Pence certified the vote count over the objections of Trump and his allies who claimed he could have challenged the results.

MORE: Pence, defending his actions on Jan. 6, rebukes Trump as ‘wrong’

“The last three people on God’s good earth who wanted chaos and violence on Capitol Hill were President Trump, Steve Bannon, and I,” Navarro said Wednesday.

“More than 500 witnesses have provided information in our investigation, and we expect Mr. Navarro to do so as well,” said Thompson.

 

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro

By FARNOUSH AMIRI

February 9, 2022

https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-bennie-thompson-peter-navarro-subpoenas-election-2020

The House Rules Committee on Monday voted to advance the contempt motion against two former aides to President Trump who have not complied with subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The motion will now go for a vote before the full House of Representatives. 

Last week, the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack against the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously to refer to Congress the contempt charges against Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino for refusing to comply with subpoenas to appear before the committee. 

The Rules Committee voted along party lines, nine Democrats to four Republicans, that the full House could vote whether to refer the contempt charges to the Justice Department. It’s likely to pass the Democratic-controlled House, as the two other contempt votes for Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows have

The Justice Department charged Bannon in November with two charges of contempt, to which he has pleaded not guilty. The Justice Department has not handed down charges yet against Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff. Contempt of Congress is punishable by up to a year in prison and fines up to $100,000.

“I believe there must be accountability for what happened or it will happen again. Nobody is above the law,” said Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, the committee chairman. “This is not a step that we take lightly, but it is sadly a step that Mr. Navarro and Mr. Scavino have forced us to take in pursuit of the truth.”

During Monday’s hearing, Democrats repeated the scope of Scavino and Navarro’s work for Trump around the election and reiterated why they wanted to interview them. In a report last week, the January 6 committee accused Navarro, a former trade adviser for Trump, of working with “Bannon and others to develop and implement a plan to delay Congress’ certification and ultimately change the outcome of the November 2020 Presidential election.”

Both Scavino and Navarro have said they cannot appear because Trump has invoked executive privilege, however, President Biden has rejected the claims of executive privilege. 

While the committee’s resolution disputes that either person has grounds for asserting privilege, January 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson also said they can’t make that argument without coming before the committee. 

“If you want the protection of any of those privileges you have to show up and explain why,” he said.   

Rep. Liz Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the January 6 committee praised Republicans from state governments, the Justice Department and the former administration who have testified before the committee. Cheney said that Navarro “does not have the courage to testify here,” and warned her current colleagues against “whitewashing” the events of January 6, 2021. 

“Think to yourself what would have happened if the men and women in uniform who defend all of us in the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department if they hadn’t done their job,” she said. “We would have had thousands  more angry, violent rioters in this Capital; we would have had a far worse constitutional crisis. So don’t think that you can whitewash this and don’t think that you can maintain your character and your honor and your duty.”

Democrats also mentioned a judge’s ruling in the John Eastman case that suggested it was “more likely than not” Trump had committed multiple federal crimes. 

 

Peter Navarro: Trump Distributed Bogus Election Fraud Research to ‘Every’ Congressional Republican

The former trade adviser discusses how he briefed Trump on election fraud and helped hatch a scheme to block the vote certification on Jan. 6. “There were over 100 congressmen ready to implement the plan,” Navarro says

By TIM DICKINSON 

January 3, 2022

Peter Navarro: Trump Distributed Bogus Election Fraud Research to ‘Every’ Congressional Republican

When the 2020 election didn’t go Trump’s way, Peter Navarro did something dangerous. He began to do his own research.

Navarro, an economist whom Donald Trump tapped to lead his trade war against China, didn’t stay in his lane at the White House. He’d already inserted himself in the administration’s botched pandemic response, pushing the unproven hypothesis that Covid-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab. And after the 2020 vote, Navarro began compiling a series of inflammatory dossiers on the outcome — with names like “The Immaculate Deception,” “The Art of the Steal,” and “Yes, Trump Won” — pushing the Big Lie that the election was stolen.

Navarro’s reports include debunked allegations of “outright voter fraud” across six battleground states, including “the large-scale manufacturing of fake ballots, bribery, and dead voters” as well as roundly discredited conspiracy theories alleging sordid connections between voting machine companies, a former Venezuelan dictator, the Clinton Foundation, and George Soros.

Unlike most amateur-hour election sleuths, however, Navarro had direct access to the aggrieved president. In an extended interview with Rolling Stone, Navarro revealed that he personally briefed Trump on his research in the Oval Office — and that Trump directed, on the spot, that Navarro’s findings be distributed to the entire GOP conference on Capitol Hill.

That advocacy by Trump helped Navarro, along with close ally Steve Bannon, prepare for a Jan. 6 plot they hoped could overturn Joe Biden’s victory. Together with Bannon, Navarro developed a plan to block the Electoral College vote count, called the Green Bay Sweep after a daring football play run by the NFL’s Packers in the Vince Lombardi era. (Bannon did not respond to a detailed list of questions about his involvement in this effort.)

The ploy called on sitting congressmen and senators, during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, to object to the counting of votes from six battleground states, where Navarro had decried fraud and electoral irregularities. Across both chambers, each state challenge would prompt four hours of debate. The intention was to create a 24-hour Republican propaganda blitz that could “punch through” directly to the public and give Mike Pence, in his capacity as Senate president, cover to delay certification of the Electoral College vote, sending the contested tallies back to the states.

Navarro, Bannon, and their GOP allies on the Hill hoped the contested states would revoke their certifications, deprive either candidate of the required 270 Electoral College votes, and give Trump one last shot victory — with the House of Representatives ultimately voting to decide the outcome of the 2020 election, using an arcane protocol that favored Trump.

What follows is an edited transcript of Rolling Stone’s conversation with Navarro. Misinformation Navarro pushed about election fraud has been omitted.

How did the Green Bay Sweep plan come together?
By the time early January was rolling around. Two things are obvious. One is that [Trump campaign manager Bill] Stepien, [deputy manager Justin] Clark and [Trump son-in-law Jared] Kushner, were not prosecuting a challenge [to Biden’s victory], and more importantly, they weren’t providing the logistical or financial support to this very small band of people led by Giuliani and Bernie Kerik to look at things. And the other thing that’s happening is the courts were rejecting challenge after challenge, not based on the evidence. But rather on procedural technicalities.

So the whole concept of the Green Bay Sweep was twofold. One was to provide a public forum whereby grievances we had regarding possible fraud and election irregularities could be aired in 24-hours of televised hearings to the American public, and thereby bypass the mainstream media’s biased coverage. And then the second part was to have a mechanism, following in the constitution, that would allow those likely illegal [Electoral College] votes to be sent back to the states for further review.

What was the endgame? You get Pence to delay certification of the Electoral College vote, send this to overtime — and then what?
One of two things could happen. They go back there [to the states], they look at it and they say, “Nope. It’s certified.” [The votes] come back, and that would be it. Fair enough.

But the more likely scenario based on our assessment of the evidence was that states would withdraw any certification. And the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives. And even though the House is controlled by Democrats, the way votes would be counted in a presidential election decided by the House, Trump would almost certainly win.

To clarify for readers: The Constitution allows that if neither candidate receives 270 votes in the Electoral College, the election is decided by the House. But in that scenario, it’s a unique process: Each state’s congressional delegation gets to cast a single vote. So while Democrats controlled more House seats, Republicans controlled more state delegations, and Trump would have likely emerged the victor?
That was the essence of the plan. It’s a well thought-out plan based on sound, constitutional law and existing legislative precedent. And all it required was peace and calm on Capitol Hill for it to unfold. And then you have two things that went awry: Pence’s betrayal, and, of course, the violence that erupted on Capitol Hill, which provided Pence, McConnell, McCarthy, Pelosi, and Schumer an excuse to abort the Green Bay Sweep, effectively, and certify the election.

Were GOP leaders McConnell and McCarthy read in on this Green Bay Sweep plan? 
I don’t know. I primarily — almost exclusively — just worked with Steve Bannon. He was the strategist involved. He was the guy who was coordinating the whipping of the votes, right? There were over 100 congressmen — both the House of Representatives and senators — that were lined up to execute that plan.

It started flawlessly when [Arizona Rep. Paul] Gosar and [Texas Sen.] Cruz promptly at 1 p.m. called on scrutiny of the Arizona vote. Arizona was one of six battlegrounds: They were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. And it started flawlessly, but the violence overtook that event. The rest, as they, say is history.

Who were the leaders of this plan on the Hill? Cruz and Gosar? 
I wasn’t really involved in that. Again, that was Steve’s job. My whole thing — all the way through Jan. 6 — I continued to work on my research, and that was that was a time-consuming process. … My role in the whole thing was basically to provide Congress, via my reports, the analytical material they needed to actually make the challenges. And the president himself had distributed Volume One of the report to every member of the House and Senate a week or so earlier.

What were your communications with President Trump about this effort? 
The only conversation I had with him was about the reports themselves. There was a couple of times I walked over to the Oval — both times after I finished a report — and personally handed him one and briefed him on it. In the first case, in front of me, he asked Molly Michael, his assistant, to make sure everybody on the Hill promptly got a copy of it.

You mention in your book that Trump wanted you to talk to Pence, that this was a directive from Trump, that Pence should speak to you. 
When I was in the Oval briefing the president on the results, I expressed frustration with the fact that Mike wouldn’t return my calls. And that it would be useful, as we were moving to Jan 6, if that problem could be fixed. He said, yeah, he’d have Mike call me. Which Mike, in fact, did. The only problem was he hung up before he even spoke to me.

To be clear, prior to Jan. 6, I had great love and respect for Vice President Pence. The problem, as I describe it in the book, was he effectively got captured by his own staff. Marc Short and his general counsel, Greg Jacob, who I had had previous run-ins with during the pandemic. Short and Jacob were just bad people. Just bad people. Had no business being in the in the White House. They weren’t Trump people. They were just bad people. They hurt the president in a lot of different ways, not the least of which is how they handled this particular issue we’re talking about.

Bannon, obviously, has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee. Have you spoken to them or are they seeking information from you? 
I have gotten no communication whatsoever from them. It’s my view that they simply do not want to hear anything I have to say, because it is so contrary to their narrative. Their narrative rests on the premise that President Trump wanted to instigate violence to overthrow the election. My premise — which is fact — is that President Trump wanted only peace and calm so that we could meticulously implement the Green Bay Packers Sweep play, and thereby remand the votes to the back to the states, and in all likelihood, then move the election into the House of Representatives, because of the substantial fraud that was visible.

Let me stop you there. You’ve told me that President Trump wasn’t really read in on this plan, and yet you say he backed it?
You asked me whether I spoke to him about it. And I said, accurately, no, it wasn’t me who briefed him on this. OK.

Are you saying that Bannon briefed him on it? 
You’ll have to track that down. I’m not going to speak for Steve or anybody else.

Let me simplify the question: Was President Trump read in on the Green Bay Packers Sweep plan? 
I don’t know that for a fact.

But you just cited his backing of the plan as the reason why Trump was not for the violence that ensued. What do you know and what you are speculating about?
You asked me whether he was read in on the Green Bay Packers Sweep plan, OK? He understood what was supposed to happen that day. All you need to do is listen to this speech from the Ellipse that morning. You know, “If Mike does the right thing” — you just have to listen to what he said.

My clear understanding, but not from speaking to him directly, is that he [Trump] understood what the strategy was. The strategy was to challenge the votes with the 100 plus-group of congressmen that day, send them back to the states and let the chips fall where they may. But it wasn’t me who sat down and said, “Hey, boss, we can run the Green Bay Packers Sweep, we do X, Y and Z.” That wasn’t my role.

And you’re not able to tell me who did that?
I actually don’t know, factually.

But again: How you know that this thing happened, but you don’t know who did it? 
I know that there were over 100 congressmen ready to implement the plan. I know that. I know what the plan was, right? It all hinged on getting the plan done at the state level. I know that the president met with people like [John] Eastman, and that there was a legal opinion explaining exactly what Pence can do. I know that that’s the reason why I wanted to talk to Mike — to assure him that there was substantial evidence of fraud and that he should exercise his duty, as president of the Senate, to send these things back to the states for 10 days.

Knowing all that, I think it’s fair to say that the president clearly understood the strategy. I don’t know if he called it “the Green Bay Sweep.” I doubt that. That was me and Steve’s description of it. You know: call a play; run the play. Based on what I know, the president understood what was going to happen that day. It required peace and calm. It was well within constitutional law, and we were basically exercising the constitutional right and democratic freedoms to challenge what we believed was a stolen election.

Everything that was done was done honorably and with good intentions. We were fighting what I believe was an attempt at a coup d’etat. We weren’t the ones trying to steal the election or engineer a coup. It was clearly the Democrats… . These folks bragged about stealing the election. They didn’t use the word “steal” — they did say they had to do it in order to “save the republic,” which I think is as close to an admission of guilt as you can get.

Bannon has been charged with criminal contempt of Congress. There are people who would call what you were plotting very much akin to a coup. Are you concerned about your own legal liability in this case?
You think people would call what I did akin to a coup?

I know you don’t see it that way, but I assure you there are people in America who see the activity that was taking place and think it was trying to overturn the duly determined democratic outcome of a national presidential election. 
Yeah, I see. I see that point. But also remember a lot of the people who might hold that point of view were being fed the steady stream of MSNBC and CNN and New York Times and Washington Post lies that the election was fair and absent of any fraud or election irregularities, and that it was all sour grapes. But you know, I went through four years listening to that noise, rather than signal, from the corporate media. And if I had a dime for every time they reported something which I knew on its face to be untrue. I know you have enough money to comfortably retire.

There have been audits in Arizona. There have been court challenges everywhere. There have been studies of whether there were deceased voters in Georgia. None of it has revealed anything that would change the outcome of this election. So as you sit here now, do you feel like your analysis was square? 
Yeah, I do.

You haven’t learned any new information since this election took place that has left you chagrined or regretful of the analysis that you created?
To the contrary. Let’s say that there’s two possible states of reality here. One is that history will show that it was a free and fair election, or as with Nixon v. Kennedy history will show that, yeah, it was stolen.

Living in two different realities — that’s an apt description of where we find ourselves in America. Do you think the American people will find agreement about the 2020 election or what happened on Jan 6?
I want to get to the bottom of what happened on Jan 6, just as much as anybody. I want to get to the bottom of it in a nonpartisan way. Kevin McCarthy is an idiot. I mean, he’s like a checkers player in the chess world. The fact that there are no legitimate Republicans on that committee, it turned it into a star chamber rather than a proper investigatory body.

I’d love to know how that violence erupted. I’m telling you I was one of the most crestfallen people on the planet at the end, when that happened, because I knew immediately: This won’t end way the we wanted it to.

 

Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Lays Out How He and Bannon Planned to Overturn Biden’s Electoral Win

“It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them…”

Jose Pagliery, Political Investigations Reporter

Updated Dec. 28, 2021

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-advisor-peter-navarro-lays-out-how-he-and-steve-bannon-planned-to-overturn-bidens-electoral-win

A former Trump White House official says he and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon were actually behind the last-ditch coordinated effort by rogue Republicans in Congress to halt certification of the 2020 election results and keep President Donald Trump in power earlier this year, in a plan dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep.”

In his recently published memoir, Peter Navarro, then-President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, details how he stayed in close contact with Bannon as they put the Green Bay Sweep in motion with help from members of Congress loyal to the cause.

But in an interview last week with The Daily Beast, Navarro shed additional light on his role in the operation and their coordination with politicians like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“We spent a lot of time lining up over 100 congressmen, including some senators. It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protestors, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”

That commitment appeared as Congress was certifying the 2020 Electoral College votes reflecting that Joe Biden beat Trump. Sen. Cruz signed off on Gosar’s official objection to counting Arizona’s electoral ballots, an effort that was supported by dozens of other Trump loyalists.

Staffers for Cruz and Gosar did not respond to requests for comment. There’s no public indication whether the Jan. 6 Committee has sought testimony or documents from Sen. Cruz or Rep. Gosar. But the committee has only recently begun to seek evidence from fellow members of Congress who were involved in the general effort to keep Trump in the White House, such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).

This last-minute maneuvering never had any chance of actually decertifying the election results on its own, a point that Navarro quickly acknowledges. But their hope was to run the clock as long as possible to increase public pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to send the electoral votes back to six contested states, where Republican-led legislatures could try to overturn the results. And in their mind, ramping up pressure on Pence would require media coverage. While most respected news organizations refused to regurgitate unproven conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud, this plan hoped to force journalists to cover the allegations by creating a historic delay to the certification process.

“I never spoke directly to him about it. But he was certainly on board with the strategy. Just listen to his speech that day. ”

“The Green Bay Sweep was very well thought out. It was designed to get us 24 hours of televised hearings,” he said. “But we thought that we could bypass the corporate media by getting this stuff televised.”

Navarro’s part in this ploy was to provide the raw materials, he said in an interview on Thursday. That came in the form of a three-part White House report he put together during his final weeks in the Trump administration with volume titles like, “The Immaculate Deception” and “The Art of the Steal.”

“My role was to provide the receipts for the 100 congressmen or so who would make their cases… who could rely in part on the body of evidence I’d collected,” he told The Daily Beast. “To lay the legal predicate for the actions to be taken.” (Ultimately, states have not found any evidence of electoral fraud above the norm, which is exceedingly small.)

The next phase of the plan was up to Bannon, Navarro describes in his memoir, In Trump Time.

“Steve Bannon’s role was to figure out how to use this information—what he called ‘receipts’—to overturn the election result. That’s how Steve had come up with the Green Bay Sweep idea,” he wrote.

“The political and legal beauty of the strategy was this: by law, both the House of Representatives and the Senate must spend up to two hours of debate per state on each requested challenge. For the six battleground states, that would add up to as much as twenty-four hours of nationally televised hearings across the two chambers of Congress.”

His book also notes that Bannon was the first person he communicated with when he woke up at dawn on Jan. 6, writing, “I check my messages and am pleased to see Steve Bannon has us fully ready to implement our Green Bay Sweep on Capitol Hill. Call the play. Run the play.”

Navarro told The Daily Beast he felt fortunate that someone cancelled his scheduled appearance to speak to Trump supporters that morning at the Ellipse, a park south of the White House that would serve as a staging area before the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol building.

“It was better for me to spend that morning working on the Green Bay Sweep. Just checking to see that everything was in line, that congressmen were on board,” he said during the interview. “It was a pretty mellow morning for me. I was convinced everything was set in place.”

Later that day, Bannon made several references to the football-themed strategy on his daily podcast, War Room Pandemic.

“We are right on the cusp of victory,” Bannon said on the show. “It’s quite simple. Play’s been called. Mike Pence, run the play. Take the football. Take the handoff from the quarterback. You’ve got guards in front of you. You’ve got big, strong people in front of you. Just do your duty.”

This idea was weeks in the making. Although Navarro told The Daily Beast he doesn’t remember when “Brother Bannon” came up with the plan, he said it started taking shape as Trump’s “Stop the Steal” legal challenges to election results in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin fizzled out. Courts wouldn’t side with Trump, thanks to what Navarro describes in his book as “the highly counterproductive antics” of Sydney Powell and her Kraken lawsuits. So instead, they came up with a never-before-seen scheme through the legislative branch.

Navarro starts off his book’s chapter about the strategy by mentioning how “Stephen K. Bannon, myself, and President Donald John Trump” were “the last three people on God’s good Earth who want to see violence erupt on Capitol Hill,” as it would disrupt their plans.

When asked if Trump himself was involved in the strategy, Navarro said, “I never spoke directly to him about it. But he was certainly on board with the strategy. Just listen to his speech that day. He’d been briefed on the law, and how Mike [Pence] had the authority to it.”

“The Green Bay Sweep was very well thought out. It was designed to get us 24 hours of televised hearings.”

Indeed, Trump legal adviser John Eastman had penned a memo (first revealed by journalists Robert Costa and Bob Woodward in their book, Peril) outlining how Trump could stage a coup. And Trump clearly referenced the plan during his Jan. 6 speech, when he said, “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so… all Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people.”

When Pence certified the electoral votes instead, he became what Navarro’s book described as “the Brutus most responsible… for the final betrayal of President Trump.”

Although the bipartisan House committee investigating the violence on Jan. 6 has demanded testimony and records from dozens of Trump allies and rally organizers believed to be involved in the attack on the nation’s democracy, Navarro said he hasn’t heard from them yet. The committee did not respond to our questions about whether it intends to dig into Navarro’s activities.

And while he has text messages, phone calls, and memos that could show how closely an active White House official was involved in the effort to keep Trump in power, he says investigators won’t find anything that shows the Green Bay Sweep plan involved violence. Instead, Navarro said, the investigative committee would find that the mob’s attack on the U.S. Capitol building actually foiled their plans, because it incentivized Pence and other Republicans to follow through with certification.

“They don’t want any part of me. I exonerate Trump and Bannon,” he said.

The committee is, however, engaged in a bitter battle with Bannon. The former Trump White House chief strategist refused to show up for a deposition or turn over documents, and he’s now being prosecuted by the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress.

Navarro said he’s still surprised that people at the Trump rally turned violent, given the impression he got when he went to see them in person during an exercise run that morning.

“I’m telling you man, it was just so peaceful. I saw no anger. None. Zero,” he said.

 

Former Trump aide calls Ukraine ‘not really a country’ amid Russian military buildup at border

Ukraine is ‘split in half’, Peter Navarro says as he claims ‘we never would be having this conversation if Trump was in the White House’

Gustaf Kilander

Washington, DC

10 December 2021

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-aide-ukraine-russia-border-putin-b1973730.html

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters.”

— Barack Obama