Peter Navarro, former trade adviser to former President Donald Trump, had some choice words for the federal government Tuesday on Newsmax in terms of its conduct with his arrest from last week and subsequent indictment on contempt-of-Congress charges, after defying a subpoena from the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.
On "Eric Bolling The Balance," Navarro characterized last week's arrest and indictment experience as "beyond appalling," before sharing a daily timeline of pre-arrest events with host Eric Bolling:
On Tuesday of last week, Navarro said, he filed a lawsuit against the Jan. 6 House panel, which he called a "kangaroo committee."
The rationale for the lawsuit: Navarro says the committee's "illegal and unenforceable subpoenas" should never carry more weight than a senior White House official's right of executive privilege.
Also, Navarro bluntly says the Jan. 6 committee's primary purpose isn't to investigate the events leading up to the Capitol attack.
Instead, their "No. 1 job is to stop Trump from running" for president in 2024.
On Wednesday, Navarro says he penned a letter to the Jan. 6 panel's deputy attorney, explaining that his executive-privilege rights would preclude him from speaking formally to the "witch hunt" committee.
Later in the day, Navarro called the same FBI agent who visited his home the previous week, and said he'd be willing to surrender under "peaceful" circumstances.
Fast-forward to Friday morning: The feds apparently allowed Navarro to eat breakfast and pack for a quick domestic plane trip before making a "showy" arrest at the airport — with five FBI officials apparently taking Navarro down in public.
After the arrest, Navarro said, federal officials didn't let him make a phone call.
Law enforcement officials also put Navarro in leg irons, strip-searched him, and provided no food or water, he said.
Navarro's perspective: This was akin to being in "solitary confinement."
In American history, Navarro said, "no senior White House official has ever been put in leg irons for a contempt-of-Congress charge."
He then added: "I remember thinking, while being held up in the cell, 'This feels like Stalin's Russia.'"
Adding to the awkward atmosphere, Navarro asserted that the FBI leaked his arrest to the media, referring to the experience as "shock-and-awe political theater."
Federal officials ''leaked my arrest to create part of this political circus," said Navarro, whose latest book, "Taking Back Trump's America," will be released Sept. 20 and can be pre-ordered in stores and online.
Was Navarro surprised by the Biden administration's alleged tactics during his arrest? Yes and no.
In one respect, Navarro said the current administration has fostered the "complete breakdown" of ethical law enforcement.
On the flip side, Navarro said the Jan. 6 committee, the White House and the Department of Justice are collectively determined to prevent Trump from seeking the presidency again two years from now.
"And I'm in the way," Navarro said.
Navarro stands as the second former Trump aide to be charged with contempt of Congress.
The Justice Department has already indicted former Trump adviser Steve Bannon on a contempt charge. A federal judge ruled that trial will begin July 18.
Here are the two charges levied against Navarro, 72:
- One contempt count for failing to appear for a deposition before the House committee.
- One contempt count for failing to produce documents the committee requested.
DOJ continues to pursue criminal charges against Trump associates who have allegedly impeded or stonewalled the work of congressional investigators.
The partisan Jan. 6 panel is made up of seven Democrats and just two Republicans; and both GOP members — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — have been outspoken Trump critics.
And the Jan. 6 committee doesn't have any formal judicial power, the panel's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., recently told The Washington Post.
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