Just a day after he told MSDNC that he would help House Republicans to impeach Joe Biden next year, former Trump advisor Peter Navarro was arrested. Navarro was ambushed at the airport in Washington, DC, frog-marched in handcuffs for the benefit of the media, and charged with contempt of Congress. This is fairly unprecedented in recent years, despite several officials being held in contempt of Congress. We really do have two separate systems of justice: One for Republicans and another one for Democrats.
House Democrats voted to hold Navarro in contempt based on a referral from the January 6 Committee – which is not even a real congressional committee. The resolution that was passed to create the January 6 Committee states that it must have 8 Democrats and 5 Republicans on it. Nancy Pelosi rejected the original 5 Republicans selected for the committee and replaced them with Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. So, the committee has 8 Democrats and 2 Republicans. The committee’s very existence in this formulation is a violation of House rules, since its makeup doesn’t match the original resolution’s requirements.
Navarro has argued all along that the January 6 Committee is operating as a law enforcement branch of the government. This partisan committee is looking for any crime that they can charge Donald Trump with, in order to prevent him from running again in 2024. Law enforcement is not a proper function of the legislative branch; that’s the job of the executive branch.
Historically, there have been a few people who have been charged with contempt of Congress and jailed for a short time. This is a legitimate oversight function of the Congress. Contempt is used as a tool to compel document production or testimony from government employees who are hiding something. But those previous cases have always originated in the House Judiciary Committee, which is a real committee.
If it seems a little weird that Peter Navarro was arrested for a bogus contempt of Congress charge that originated in a fake committee, then you’ve been paying attention. Remember Barack Obama’s “wing man” Eric Holder? He was held in contempt of Congress back in June of 2012. He was the first sitting Cabinet member of an administration to ever be held in contempt of Congress.
The reason why Holder was held in contempt was because he refused for more than three years to release documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. That was the operation where the Obama administration sold actual “weapons of war” to a Mexican drug cartel.
Among the weapons that Obama and Holder sold to the cartel were an automatic rifle that was used to kill Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry; a pair of AK-47s that were used to pepper an apartment building in Tucson, Arizona that killed two American civilians; the fully automatic AK-47s that were used by Islamic terrorists to murder 130 civilians in the 2015 Bataclan nightclub massacre in Paris and injure 419 others; and a .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle that was found in the hideout of Mexican drug kingpin “El Chapo” when the CIA caught him.
The Obama administration killed all those people with the “weapons of war” they sold to a cartel. They refused to cooperate with a congressional investigation for more than three years. Holder refused to hand over any documents related to the scandal. The congressional vote to hold him in contempt was 255 to 67, with 17 Democrats voting in favor of contempt. It was bipartisan.
But the Justice Department did not spring into action to arrest Eric Holder. He wasn’t from the “wrong” political party. Eric Holder was Barack Obama’s “wing man,” so nothing happened to him. Holder knew that he was protected from arrest because he was in the right club. And he was so arrogant that he openly mocked the US Congress for holding him in contempt.
“I’m going to Disneyland!” he boasted when a reporter asked him what he would do next after being held in contempt. He knew he wasn’t going to jail.
But the same thing does not happen with a Republican like Peter Navarro. Navarro gets arrested at the airport by the FBI over a fake contempt of Congress vote that was referred to them by a fake committee. Holder walked free, despite the fact that his actions killed many dozens of people. Equal justice under the law? No, we don’t have that anymore.