A federal judge on Thursday denied a bid by Peter Navarro, an adviser in the Trump administration, to remain out of prison while he appeals his contempt of Congress conviction for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.
Navarro, a trade adviser under President Donald Trump, was sentenced last month to four months in prison after being convicted of defying a subpoena for documents and a deposition from the Democrat-run House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, a Barack Obama appointee, said Navarro must report to serve his sentence when ordered by the Bureau of Prisons, unless Washington's federal appeals court steps in to block his order. Mehta said Navarro hasn't shown that any of the issues he will raise on appeal are "substantial" questions of law.
Among other things, Navarro argued his prosecution was motivated by political bias, but Mehta said Navarro offered "no actual proof" to support that claim.
"Defendant's cynical, self-serving claim of political bias poses no question at all, let alone a 'substantial' one," Mehta wrote.
An attorney for Navarro didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Navarro has said he couldn't cooperate with the committee because Trump invoked executive privilege. Mehta barred him from making that argument at trial, however, finding he didn't show Trump invoked it.
Navarro told the judge before sentencing in January the House committee had led him to believe that it accepted his invocation of executive privilege.
Navarro was the second Trump aide convicted of contempt of Congress charges. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon received a four-month sentence but is free pending appeal.
Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.