Appeals court denies Peter Navarro’s bid to avoid reporting to prison next week

A federal appeals court on Thursday denied ex-Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro’s bid to avoid reporting to a federal prison next week to begin serving a four-month sentence for his contempt of Congress conviction.

The unanimous decision from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals means Navarro will have to report to a federal prison in Miami by March 19.

In the terse, unsigned order from circuit Judges Patricia Millett, Cornelia Pillard and Robert Wilkins, the court said that Navarro hadn’t sufficiently demonstrated why he should remain free while his appeal of the conviction plays out.

Navarro, the judges said, “has 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.”

Navarro had been arguing that a decision by the federal judge who oversaw his case to not let him raise an executive privilege defense at trial was wrong and that the possibility that the appeals court might reverse that decision should keep him out of prison as the court weighs his case.

But the three appellate judges on Thursday rejected all of his arguments, suggesting that the court may ultimately rule against him when it considers his arguments for why his conviction should be overturned.

Navarro “makes no claim of absolute testimonial immunity, nor could he. A properly asserted claim of executive privilege would not have relieved him of the obligation to produce unprivileged documents and appear for his deposition to testify on unprivileged matters,” they wrote.

Navarro was sentenced earlier this year to four months in prison after being convicted in September of two contempt of Congress counts for not complying with a subpoena from the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

CNN has reached out to Navarro for comment.

Trump promotes Navarro’s book

Trump was promoting Navarro’s book in recent days and backing his effort to avoid jail time.

“Peter Navarro had strong views on Protecting our Economy against the assault from Foreign Countries all over the World. He was an absolute master at not allowing the U.S. to get ‘ripped off’ by this onslaught. Peter did his job well, he did it faithfully, and he loved our Country. His Book should be studied, and what he says should be highly respected. Peter Navarro is a Patriot who has been treated very badly, but he continues forward. In the end, there will be Victory!” Trump posted on his Truth Social account.

CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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