UCI Professor Emeritus Peter Navarro Jailed

UCI Professor Emeritus Peter Navarro Jailed

Former Donald Trump adviser and UCI professor emeritus Peter Navarro arrives for a press conference before turning himself in to a federal prison in Miami on March 19, 2024. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler


Updated: 3/26/2024

Well, they finally did it. The Biden administration imprisoned my California source Peter Navarro for four months. He’s a professor emeritus at the University of California–Irvine and an expert on international trade and communist China’s military. In particular, for a decade, he has warned that the People’s Liberation Army’s nuclear arsenal is a lot bigger than reported, something the Federation of American Scientists acknowledged in January.
The reason for his imprisonment was the phony “contempt of Congress” charges lodged against him because he refused to testify before the House select committee on the Jan. 6, 2021, protests. During the protests, he was an adviser to then-President Donald Trump.
Just before he was locked in the slammer, Mr. Navarro gave a press conference in which he called out Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who at the time of the protests was the speaker of the House of Representatives. That meant that she was in charge of the lax security around the Capitol building. She also refused President Trump’s offer to deploy the National Guard to help with security.
Later, she set up the Jan. 6 Committee—and, violating longstanding House protocol, refused to install two Republican members chosen by then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Instead, she appointed two pro-Democrat Republicans, Reps. Liz (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
At the press conference, Mr. Navarro said: “It starts with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who forms the J6 Committee [and] blows away all the rules for an improperly constituted and unlawful committee. She puts on seven Democrats. ... Every single one of those went after Donald Trump through two impeachments and the Russia Hoax. And all they want to do is stop Trump. The two Republicans on there were not Republicans at all.”

No ‘Insurrection’

Mr. Navarro is behind bars now because of the mythology surrounding what the left continually refers to as the Jan. 6 “insurrection.” It was nothing of the kind. It was a mostly peaceful protest that got out of control. Check out The Epoch Times’ interview with Kash Patel, a former adviser to President Trump who has deeply studied the events of that fateful day.
“How is it factually and legally possible for Nancy Pelosi, the Capitol Police, and Mayor [Muriel] Bowser to reject the National Guard if President Trump didn’t previously authorize them?” he asked. “To me, that’s the whole case. And now that we have the receipts—we’ve always had them—now that they’re out there for the American people, maybe they can ask those hard questions and finally get to the truth.”
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) is chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on House Administration. He recently released more information previously kept secret by the January 6th Select Committee.
Mr. Patel said: “What Chairman Loudermilk has done is exposed the fact that evidence was withheld by members of Congress, evidence was destroyed by members of Congress, evidence of innocence was hidden by members of Congress, and evidence was choreographed by members of Congress. They just arrested a journalist who was inside the halls of Congress on January 6, reporting on January 6, and doing nothing else—per the video that’s been released. And they arrested and charged him federally. Are we now going to arrest journalists in theaters of war because it’s illegal for them to be there, who are reporting on the war? You know the standard is a very slippery slope.”

Jailing a Journalist

The journalist is Steve Baker. Newsweek reported on March 2: “Conservative journalist Steve Baker claimed that his Friday arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on charges related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot was down to ‘scary words.’
“Baker is an investigative journalist known for his work with the Glenn Beck-founded conservative news outlet, Blaze Media. Over the last few years, he has written extensively about the trials of Capitol riot defendants and spoken out in support of the event, which saw a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election in favor of Joe Biden.”
I’ve never heard of this before. Journalists have been arrested for refusing to testify about what they found out on a court case. But arrested for being at an event they’re writing about?
I searched The New York Times website for “Steve Baker” or “Steven Baker” over the past month: nothing. It used to be that they would have jumped on this to defend the First Amendment, not minding that it was a conservative journalist. After all, the landmark 1964 First Amendment case New York Times v. Sullivan involved them. So did New York Times v. United States in 1971, commonly called the Pentagon Papers case. The latter was even made into a 1971 movie by Steven Spielberg, “The Post,” which featured the actions of The Washington Post, even though it was The New York Times that was the major player.
If The New York Times can print with impunity documents pilfered by the late Daniel Ellsberg from the Defense Department, why can’t Mr. Baker gather information for his news reports? And thank goodness at least one Times—The Epoch Times—is covering this story.

Communist China Connection

When memoirs and histories of this era are written, I wonder if we’ll find out that the impetus to turn Mr. Navarro into a political prisoner wasn’t just his connection to President Trump but also his work on the unfair trade policies and burgeoning nuclear arsenal of China.
James Freeman reported in The Wall Street Journal on March 1 on presidential son Hunter Biden’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee: “Hunter Biden confirmed the story of traveling with then-Vice President Joe Biden on Air Force Two to China and introducing his father to Jonathan Li in the lobby of the Bidens’ hotel.”
Mr. Freeman then quoted this from Mr. Biden’s testimony: “[Committee member or staff]: At the time that you did introduce your father to Jonathan Li, did you or any of your business associates have any potential business with Jonathan Li?
“[Hunter Biden]: I was working with Jonathan on a potential that he had an idea for creating a private equity fund based in China to do cross-border investments.”
Mr. Freeman then quoted a report from the South China Morning Post from Oct. 14, 2019—that is, when Joe Biden was running for president: “BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company has grabbed global media attention for its links with Hunter Biden, the son of former United States vice-president Joe Biden, after US President Donald Trump fired a barrage of corruption allegations at him and requested China investigate the Bidens’ financial activities in the country.
“The company has repeatedly declined to elaborate on the younger Biden’s role at the firm when contacted by the South China Morning Post via phone, mail and visits to the office. But Jonathan Li Xiangsheng, the firm’s chief executive and Hunter Biden’s partner, has said the company was working on an explanation about the American’s role.
“Li refused to comment on the younger Biden when reached by the Post on Monday.”
In June 2023, the New York Post headlined, “Hunter Biden used dad Joe as leverage in China business dispute: text message.” It reported that Henry “Zhao, who is a Communist Party official, invested in Hunter’s firm Bohai Harvest RST Equity Investment Fund Management Co., also known as BHR Partners, which the first son cofounded with other Chinese entities in 2013.”
Mr. Biden just refused to testify before the Oversight Committee on March 20 about his father’s potential impeachment.
Said Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), “Hunter Biden for months stated he wanted a public hearing, but now that one has been offered alongside his business associates that he worked with for years, he is refusing to come.”
What a double standard. Warn about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) reach for dominance and go to prison. Make deals with CCP honchos and stay free.

Conclusion: Politicized Justice

A big problem was Mr. Navarro was tried before a jury in Washington, which in 2020 voted 92 percent for then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Likewise, President Trump is being tried by juries in New York City, which went 76 percent for Joe Biden, and in Fulton County, Georgia, which backed Joe Biden with 73 percent.
Thus, justice in America has been thoroughly politicized. It used to be that in areas heavily Republican or Democrat, one could still receive justice from the other party, although it never was perfect. That’s long gone.
As a resident of California, I fear this heavily Democrat state will go the same way as Washington, New York City, and Fulton County—and replace justice with raw politics.
John Seiler

John Seiler


John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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