Former Trump White House trade official Peter K. Navarro ranted and raved at his first court appearance on Friday, hours after FBI agents arrested him as he boarded an airplane on charges of contempt of Congress.
“I didn’t tell them I was going to Nashville today, and they wound up arresting me at the gate door,” Navarro complained at the hearing, calling his treatment “despicable.”
The hearing, before Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui, took place after Navarro refuse to comply with House subpoenas from the Jan. 6 Committee, sued the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office over a federal grand jury subpoena he received last week, and was indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress.
After all that, Navarro elected to move forward on a pro se basis – choosing to represent himself. Navarro does not have a law degree.
“I served in the Trump White House for four years,” Navarro told Faruqui. “I saved millions of lives.”
Throughout the hearing, Faruqui went through the basic, standard conditions for pretrial defendants: informing the probation office about travel, no narcotics, no firearms.
When Faruqui mentioned narcotics, Navarro seemed to take umbrage.
“That’s not me,” he interjected. “These are forms of coercion.”
House investigators are interested in Navarro in part because of what he has described as the “Green Bay Sweep”: a plan to have Vice President Mike Pence reject Biden elector slates on Jan. 6, creating a delay in which GOP-controlled state legislatures could decertify his win.
“The prosecution has colluded with Congress and the White House,” Navarro said during one rant, demanding that the case be heard by the Supreme Court.
Throughout it all, Faruqui was gracious to a fault, noting towards the end of the hearing that Navarro seemed frustrated.
“The word is not frustration,” Navarro sighed. “Let’s just say, I’m disappointed in our Republic.”
After his release, Navarro continued the rant outside the courthouse for the TV cameras. MSNBC cut away, with a host saying he could only take so much “bug eyed gibberish?”