After the House Jan. 6 committee voted Monday to hold former Trump administration trade official Peter Navarro in contempt of Congress, Navarro booked an appearance on MSNBC’s The Beat for Tuesday night.
Shortly before the broadcast, however, things changed. “Late today, [Navarro] then indicated he could not do an interview tonight,” a disappointed Ari Melber told viewers.
Navarro’s decision might have something to do with how the committee cited his prior appearance on the program – during which he explained his efforts to overturn the 2020 election – to rebut Navarro’s claims of executive privilege.
“[Navarro] has so much knowledge to share with a journalist, but he refuses to share that knowledge in response to a lawful subpoena,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) said before Monday’s unanimous vote. “Evidently, Mr. Navarro is only concerned with executive privilege with keeping certain matters confidential when it’s convenient to him.”
Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) added that Navarro, “despite sharing relevant details on TV, in podcasts, and in his own book…stonewalled us.”
Navarro’s cable news appearance was preceded by his reveal to The Daily Beast in December of the “Green Bay Sweep” that he and Steve Bannon had planned to use to keep Trump in power.
“We spent a lot of time lining up over 100 congressmen, including some senators. It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them,” Navarro told The Beast. “It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protestors, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”
The recommendation of criminal charges for Navarro and Dan Scavino, Trump’s longtime social media guru, now heads to the full House. If approved there, the Justice Department would take up the matter, as it did with Bannon, who’s set to go on trial this summer.