Navarro Controversy Heightens Jan. 6 Proceedings

Peter Navarro, a longtime Trump advisor, was charged with two contempt of Congress counts on Friday.

The allegations derive from Navarro’s failure to participate in the House panel’s inquiry. The panel is about to begin public hearings. Thursday is the first.

His Arrest

Navarro criticized the committee’s work and his own detention on Friday.

Later, he told reporters he’d been “intercepted” on his route to Tennessee, handcuffed, and “leg ironed.” He also said his hardship was due to his support for Trump.

“They won’t target Trump or me. 74 million people voted for Trump in 2020,” he stated.

Navarro spread erroneous ideas about electoral fraud. He advocated the “Green Bay Sweep” to reverse the election’s outcome.

Navarro’s next appearance in court is June 17, when the panel’s public hearings will get started.

The hearings’ efficacy will be measured by the substantive information discovered and the anticipated political effect.

A probe into such a significant attack on American democracy seems obvious. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD.) said the hearings would “blow the roof off the House” in April.

Raskin said at Georgetown University, “This wasn’t a coup against the president. It was a presidential coup against the VP and Congress.”

Even some who favor the committee’s efforts are skeptical that the hearings will change politics. This doubt stems from what was previously known about the uprising.

17 months ago, Trump was ousted for inciting a riot. There’s no reason to assume the procedure will change the minds of the minority of the populace and the majority of Republicans who still like the former president.

Trump’s Approval Ratings

Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University who argued for Trump’s impeachment in 2017, said nothing would sway Trump or his followers. After all the news, Trump’s approval has risen, not fallen.

Lichtman said people who don’t like the former president are too optimistic if they think the subsequent hearings will be like the Watergate hearings in 1973 and 1974, which led to Nixon’s resignation.

In today’s polarized political and media atmosphere, Trump and his followers will “claim it’s a witch hunt” and mostly avoid political consequences. Princeton professor Julian Zelizer agreed.

He stated the hearings would provide greater depth and intentionality to the public. Having it on record and knowing more is beneficial. Politically, it’s questionable. So much occurred in public.

Democrats might hope the hearings concentrate public attention on Trump, the uprising, and Republican collusion. Such topics are better for President Biden’s party than inflation, petrol costs, and newborn formula scarcity.

As Navarro did on Friday, Republicans will slam the committee.

Stephen Bannon, the only other person arrested for disobeying a subpoena in comparable circumstances, used his early court hearings to promise his charge would be “the felony from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden.”

With Navarro and Bannon charged and public hearings imminent, the insurrection drama will continue. Most people know who the heroes and villains are.