Peter Navarro said he would represent himself — but now he’s complaining to a judge he doesn’t have a lawyer
Peter Navarro, the former Director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, speaks during an event in 2019. (U.S. Mission Photo/Eric Bridiers)

Former top White House adviser Peter Navarro was indicted by a grand jury last week, but he maintained that he would be representing himself in the case. Navarro explained he'd rather represent himself because he doesn't want to waste his retirement on lawyers.

The trial is set for Navarro to appear in July. In a letter sent Wednesday, however. Navarro explained he still doesn't have a lawyer. The former Trump adviser went to Harvard to get a master's in public administration, but he never attended law school nor is he a barred attorney.

In the letter to the judge, he complained that the prosecution is moving forward too fast, despite his not having a lawyer. The problem, however, is that Navarro made it clear multiple times to the judge he wasn't going to get a lawyer. Yet, when speaking to Newsmax on Tuesday, Navarro said he needs to hire a lawyer and begged for his fans to buy his book to help him fund the defense.

"At this point, I will remain without legal representation," Navarro said in the Wednesday letter to the judge. "And the prosecution has already begun to file motions despite my request for delay. In this vacuum, the prosecution is placing me at a severe disadvantage. "I note in this regard that the prosecution is also pushing very hard for a 'speedy trial' as part of its strategy to exploit the unrepresented — this issue came up with the magistrate."

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The right to a speedy trial is the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution.

"I remind the court here that upon my arrest, the FBI agent in charge refused to allow me to contact an attorney for legal advice prior to appearing before the magistrate despite repeated requests and then tried to cover his tracks by providing a public defender a mere three minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin," wrote Navarro. "This put me at a very severe disadvantage at the outset. In this particular regard, I ask that the court investigate this particularly egregious breach of due process, confirm my allegations, provide me with the FBI's rationale for taking such an egregious step, and take actions in this matter as appropriate."

Outside the court on June 3, Navarro had a different story to tell.

"I'm representing myself pro se because I do not want to be dragged down into the muck of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of my retirement savings on this kind of venture. I'm going to evaluate my legal strategy in light of what has happened with this, and there will be more to follow," said Navarro. "But if you would, please don't scream at me when I stop. Don't follow me. Just let me walk home, and I would much appreciate that. It's been a long day. I've been generous with my time. God bless America. Thank you."

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The comment is consistent with a Newsmax interview Navarro gave three months ago when he said he'd "drawn a line in the sand" and he'd be representing himself.

Now he claims in the Wednesday letter he's looking for a legal team and blames prosecutors for trying to take advantage of the fact that he doesn't have a lawyer he said he wouldn't hire.

UPDATE: Less than 12 hours after the court filing, Navarro appeared on Fox News to say that he was not hiring a lawyer. Contradicting himself again.

See the screen capture of the filing below: