Former Trump administration economic advisor Peter Navarro has begun his defense against charges of criminal contempt of Congress by filing a motion in the federal district court in Washington last Wednesday. His motion alleges that the FBI agents who arrested him refused to allow him access to his attorney and failed to advise him of his Miranda rights.
He was charged after refusing to fully cooperate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked January 6 Committee. He has cited executive privilege that prevents his disclosure of some materials along with several Constitutional objections. He was arrested by federal agents just before boarding a flight at Reagan National Airport in Washington.
In the motion filed last week, Navarro is asking the court to require the government to turn over documents related to his arrest.
He seeks all video and audio recordings of his arrest at the airport and at the FBI detention facility as well as complete transcripts of all conversations incident to the arrest. The motion also asks for the production of all notes taken by the arresting agents and affidavits regarding his request to speak with his lawyer and whether he was provided notice of his Miranda Constitutional rights.
Navarro also demands prosecutors be ordered to disclose the role they played in the assignment of a public defender instead of allowing him to call counsel of his own choosing during the hours he was incarcerated after his arrest.
He alleges that he immediately asked agents to be allowed to call his lawyer while still inside the airport. He states in his motion that as soon as he asked to call his lawyer the agents should have provided him notice of his rights and made a phone available to him to seek legal advice in advance of his initial court appearance.
Prosecutors have filed a response to the motion claiming that Navarro refused to provide the arresting agents with the name of the lawyer he said he wanted to call. The response alleges that Navarro called the arresting agents “kind Nazis” and asked them how they could live with themselves.
Although he was provided with a public defender, Navarro has chosen to represent himself to this point in filing his first motion. He told the court in his motion that the lawyer appointed for him was unfamiliar with the facts in the case. He is asking the court for additional time to hire an attorney to represent him in the case.
Navarro also alleges that he was placed in leg irons and handcuffs while being held in isolation without water or food for hours.