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Peter Navarro asks Supreme Court to let him avoid reporting to prison next week

Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro is asking the Supreme Court to let him avoid reporting to a federal prison next week to begin serving a four-month sentence for his contempt of Congress conviction.

In an emergency request filed Friday afternoon, Navarro asked the court to let him remain free while he challenges the conviction before the federal appeals court in Washington, DC. Navarro has been ordered to report to a federal prison in Miami by March 19.

Navarro’s attorneys argued that pausing a lower court’s ruling rejecting his bid to stay free is warranted when the person making the request is not a flight risk and is raising substantial legal questions, not simply seeking to delay.

“Navarro is indisputably neither a flight risk nor a danger to public safety should he be release pending appeal,” the attorneys said.

Instead, they argued, Navarro has appealed and “will raise a number of issues on appeal that he contends are likely to result in the reversal of his conviction, or a new trial.”

Two lower courts have so far turned down similar appeals. On Thursday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Navarro’s bid, saying he hadn’t sufficiently demonstrated why he should remain free while his appeal of the conviction plays out.

Navarro, the judges said in the unsigned order, “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.”

The Supreme Court requested a response from prosecutors by Monday afternoon.

Navarro has been arguing that the decision by US District Judge Amit P. Mehta to not let him raise an executive privilege defense at trial was wrong and that the possibility the appeals court might reverse that decision should keep him out of prison as the court weighs his case.

The decision from Mehta stands in stark contrast to how the conviction of Steve Bannon was handled. Bannon also was sentenced to four months for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena in the investigation, but the presiding judge allowed the Trump ally to stay out of prison while his conviction goes through the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

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.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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