Peter Navarro will represent himself as he fights two charges of criminal contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas from the House Jan. 6 committee.
The former advisor to President Donald Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday and was arrested by the FBI on Friday at a Washington, D.C.-area airport – a fact he decried while speaking with reporters later that day.
“They intercepted me getting on the plane, and then they put me in handcuffs,” he recounted incredulously. “They bring me here, they put me in leg irons, they stick me in a cell. … What they did to me today violated the Constitution.”
Explaining his strategy, Navarro said, “I’m representing myself pro se because I do not want to be dragged down into the muck, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of my retirement savings on this kind of venture.”
The news of Navarro’s indictment came the same day that the Justice Department declined to charge fellow Trump officials Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for refusing to comply with House select committee subpoenas.
Navarro was subpoenaed in February for documents and testimony as part of its probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. According to The Hill, Navarro filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the legality of those subpoenas, and at his arraignment on Friday, he argued that the committee was a “sham” and that it did not have the authority to subpoena him.
“They’ve basically weaponized their investigatory powers in a way which violates separation of powers,” he reportedly told a judge.
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the Jan. 6 committee as just another witch hunt to punish him and his supporters. With the committee set to begin sharing its findings at a public hearing on Thursday, the 45th president is expected to issue a response through either Truth Social or his Save America PAC.