Saturday, September 30, 2023
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor
Mehta, Navarro, and the U.S. Congress

February 5, 2023 --

The new LPR Poll Question: (as found on the right hand column of this page) -

Did U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta act more like a litigant than a jurist in denying former Trump aide Peter Navarro's motion to dismiss the two charges against him for contempt of Congress. That is, should the case have been styled Mehta v. Navarro, not United States of America v. Peter Navarro.

Agree_______ Disagree_____


Before entering a poll response, LPR's visitors are asked to read the link to Kyle Cheney's superficial article at Politico's January 20 site on Judge Mehta's January 19 opinion, along with the link to Judge Mehta's 39-page opinion provided in the Politico story.


Cheney noted, but only en passant, the dismissal of Navarro's claim that he was protected from subpoenas issued by the Jan. 6 House Select Committee and mentioned, superficially Judge Mehta's rejection of a broad range of objections raised by Mr. Navarro to the Committee's subpoenas. More significantly, Cheney did not specifically call the reader's attention to key misstatements in the Mehta ruling, misstatements which, arguably, either reflect negligence or willful partisanship.

For example, the Politico story on Judge Mehta's ruling against Peter Navarro did not cite this false assertion by the judge in his January 19 opinion:

"A close read of House Resolution 503 demonstrates that neither the numeric composition of the Committee nor the presence of a ranking Member bears on the Committee’s 'authority' to summon witnesses."

Au contraire, an accurate read of Section (6)(A) states that the Committee's chair, "upon consultation with the ranking minority mermer, may order the taking of depositions, including pursuant to subpoena…” Obviously, "the presence of a ranking Member bears on the committee's 'authority' to summon witnesses." Significantly, the "numeric composition" of the Committee also bore on the "the presence o a ranking member, because H. Res. 503, the Committee's establishing resolution, called for a membership of 13 members, 8 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

In fact, the Committee consisted of nine congressperson, 7 Democrats and 2 Republicans, none of them named by the House minority leader as called for ion the establishing resolution, as no Republican on the Committee was selected by House GOP leader McCarthy, there could be no ranking minority member.

Why did the Committee have no members selected by Mr. McCarthy? Because two of his choices, Representatives Banks and Jordan, were vetoed by Nancy Pelosi, and Mr. McCarthy then withdrew his other Committee selections to protest this display of strident partisanship by Pelosi. Please see this link to Roll Call's July 21, 2021 article on the Pelosi veto.


For Pelosi, Republicans who might demand a fair hearing were objectionable; Pelosi then got the panel she wanted: seven anti-Trump Democrats , and two anti-Trump Republicans. LPR's google search on the composition of the Committee strongly suggest that Pelosi maneuvered Mr. McCarthy into boycotting the Committee.

There is one further remark that Judge Mehta cobbled into his Navarro ruling, at p. 29 that also was ignored by Politico and deserves not only mention, but response:

" This court notes that, even if the Defendant did provide sufficient evidence of undue political influence, it is far from clear what the court could do about it."

Judge Mehta thus indicated his bewilderment what he could do about the Committee's partisanship, even if Mr. Navarro "did provide sufficient evidence of undue political influence."

One other salient, if minor, point about the rogue way of this Committee: its chair, members and the media, generally, recognized the anti-Trump GOPer (bah!) Liz Cheney as "vice chair." LPR invites Judge Mehta to provide a close read of h. Res. 503 that calls for. vice chair.

No vice chair, no 13 members, no ranking minority member, all members chosen by Nancy Pelosi who displayed her contempt of President Trump after his last State of the Union address by tearing up her copy of the speech.

How would an impartial jurist have ruled on Peter Navarro's motion to dismiss the contempt of Congress charges against him? By dismissing the accusations as appropriate only where these words appear above the courthouse door: "No one is above political heresy."

But that is not how the Mehta opinion concludes. Throwing down the gantlet to a free people, Judge Mehta granted the request of government counsel to prevent Citizen Navarro from raising significant arguments in his defense, leaving the judge to grant, at the start of the trial of Peter Navarro for having served President Trump, a government demand that judgment be directed for the Deep State. And let this be a lesson to you, MAGA patriots; never again get uppity.