The Justice Department is firing back Thursday at former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro's request for a 45-day continuance to hire representation for his contempt of Congress charge.
A DOJ filing in the case to outline opposition to the request for a continuance claims Navarro's filing made "numerous misrepresentations and provides no justification" for the delay. Among the disputed allegations were the conditions of his arrest, having been denied counsel or food or water.
"The defendant bases his request for a continuance, in part, on his accusations that the government is attempting to deprive him of counsel — for example, by allegedly denying him a call to counsel upon his arrest and filing motions in the normal course of proceeding with this case," the DOJ wrote.
"The defendant's claims are false. 1. The defendant was arrested on June 3, 2022. At the time of his arrest, the defendant first requested to call the press, which was denied. 2. When the arresting agent then informed the defendant that arrangements could be made for him to call an attorney as soon as the defendant provided an attorney's name, the defendant did not provide the name of any attorney."
Included in the filing were details of Navarro's arrest as he was set to make a flight to Nashville, Tennessee.
After being read his Miranda rights, the report read: "Navarro said words to the effect, 'Do I get to make a call?' [Special agent Walter] Giardina asked, 'Do you have an attorney you'd like to call? What is the name of your attorney?'
"Navarro replied, 'I'm supposed to be on live television tonight. I'd like to call the producer and tell him I'm not going to be there. Can I have my phone?'"
Giardina said he could not have his phone until after his initial appearance, but he could call his attorney if he provided his attorney's name, but he did not.
The filing added, "Navarro made statements to the effect that the arresting agents were 'kind Nazis' and 'how do you live with yourselves?'"
Navarro noted in his Wednesday filing his arrest came just three days after he sued the House Jan. 6 Select Committee and a federal prosecutor to block the subpoena seeking him to provide testimony and documents on what he considers privileged communications with then-President Donald Trump.
"I remind the court here that upon my arrest, the FBI agent in charge refused to allow me to contact an attorney for legal advice prior to appearing before the magistrate despite repeated requests and then tried to cover his tracks by providing a public defender a mere three minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin," Navarro wrote in his request to Judge Amit Mehta. "This put me at a very severe disadvantage at the outset."
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