Trump Plans to Reward Peter Navarro for Going to Jail Instead of Being a ‘Rat’

Former Trump White House aide Peter Navarro was sent to federal prison for obstructing Congress in its investigation of the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But once Navarro is out of prison, there are a couple things the former Trump White House aide should expect if his former boss wins the election: a pardon, and a new job.

Over the past several months, Donald Trump has told some of his advisers and friends that federal clemency for Navarro, if Trump is back in office, is a “very good idea,” according to a person familiar with the matter and another source briefed on it. The former president, as some of his former staff say, often speaks in vague and thinly-coded terms that they refer to as “mob speak.”

Like a number of former Trump advisers, Navarro received a subpoena to testify before the House Jan 6. Committee about his work attempting to delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results, and his role in producing a series of reports with bogus allegations of mass voter fraud during the election. Unlike most of his former colleagues, however, Navarro openly defied the subpoena, leading to a criminal referral by the committee, an indictment from a federal grand jury in June 2022, and his conviction in September last year. He received a four-month prison sentence, which began in March.

In the years since Biden’s inauguration, Navarro has surfaced on Trump and the MAGA elite’s informal shortlist of who should expect job offers for senior roles in a second Trump administration, according to numerous people familiar with the vast government-in-waiting preparations.

As Navarro’s legal odyssey has unfolded, Trump has privately marveled at the extreme loyalty of the former White House trade adviser whom Trump has affectionately referred to as “my Peter.” The former president has said that once Navarro is out of prison, “we’re going to take care of him,” a source with direct knowledge of this comment says. The ex-president has also repeatedly asked confidants how Navarro is doing behind bars, this source, and another person briefed on the situation, add.

Nor is Trump the only member of his family who has expressed affection for Navarro since his imprisonment.

“Peter was railroaded by the same corrupt system that is trying to railroad my father, and so I thought it was important to show my support for him,” Donald Trump Jr. said in a statement sent to Rolling Stone. “He’s a good man, who was wrongfully convicted. Even though I just had knee surgery a few days ago, I wanted Peter to know that my entire family is praying for him and will always have his back.”

As candidate Trump plots a return to the White House and faces his own criminal charges across four separate cases, he has expressed a desire to hand out jobs to former aides who have faced criminal charges while working for him. Among those are former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark, both of whom Trump has privately said he wants posted in his potential second administration.

Last year, Rolling Stone reported that Trump had privately pitched the idea of issuing a wave of pardons, if he secures another term, of his high-profile allies who face criminal charges from the Biden Justice Department, including charges stemming from the federal probe into Trump and other Republicans’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election outcome. Trump has proposed even doing this near the very start of a possible second White House term. “This would be like hitting the delete-key on all of DOJ’s work on these investigations — and be an opening shot in his next war on the ‘Deep State,’” a source familiar with the matter said at the time.

This would be on top of his repeated public vow — on which he is currently campaigning for the presidency — to pardon scores of Jan. 6 rioters.

Navarro’s decision to defy the Jan. 6 committee during its investigation into the insurrection baffled some Trump aides and close associates, who told Rolling Stone they believe he did not have to place himself in the position of open defiance of the investigation. A number of Trump aides who remain in the former president’s good graces either complied with the committee’s subpoenas or invoked their fifth amendment rights not to incriminate themselves in testimony. Only Navarro and his fellow former White House aide Steve Bannon stonewalled the committees so completely that they both earned criminal convictions and four-month prison sentences for contempt of Congress.

While it may have been an ill-advised legal move for Navarro, his willingness to risk prison in support of his former boss has not gone unnoticed among the upper ranks of MAGAland. In recent weeks, Trump has joked behind closed doors that Navarro is so loyal to him that somebody could waterboard his former White House aide, and Navarro still would refuse to “rat” on him, according to a Republican source who was privy to the conversation.

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