Appeals Court Denies Peter Navarro’s Motion to Remain Out of Prison

Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Donald J. Trump during his presidency, will be required to report to prison after a federal appeals court on Thursday denied his all-but-final bid to remain free while appealing his conviction for contempt of Congress.

The ruling meant that, barring an 11th-hour intervention by the Supreme Court, which his lawyers previously pledged to seek if necessary, Mr. Navarro will have to obey an order by the Bureau of Prisons and report to a federal prison in Miami by Tuesday, which would make him the first senior aide to Mr. Trump to serve time over his role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Mr. Navarro, 74, was sentenced in January to four months in prison for refusing to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The committee had subpoenaed Mr. Navarro for documents and testimony, seeking his testimony about a plan he had devised to stall the certification of the election by holding up the counting of electoral votes.

After receiving the subpoena, Mr. Navarro brushed off the committee based on the belief, he argued at trial, that Mr. Trump had directed him not to testify and to invoke executive privilege.

Lawyers for Mr. Navarro have consistently argued that his case raises novel legal questions related to executive privilege and will likely lead to new understandings of congressional oversight of the executive branch. They have also pointed to Stephen K. Bannon, another aide to Mr. Trump, who was allowed to remain free while appealing an identical sentence for similarly stonewalling the committee.

But a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit disagreed, writing that he had “not shown that his appeal presents substantial questions of law or fact likely to result in reversal, a new trial, a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment or a reduced sentence of imprisonment that is less than the amount of time already served.”

The order upheld a ruling by Judge Amit P. Mehta, who presided over the trial and who, in February, rejected Mr. Navarro’s request to remain free while his appeal moved forward.

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