When I read The Daily Beast article on Peter Navarro, I immediately thought of a “limited hangout.”

A limited hangout or partial hangout is, according to former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Victor Marchetti, “spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering— The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”

Navarro, who served in the Trump administration as an Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, and national Defense Production Act policy coordinator, has decided to take ownership and co-authorship with Steve Bannon, of the January 6 plot to overthrow our constitutional system of government.

A former Trump White House official says he and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon were actually behind the last-ditch coordinated effort by rogue Republicans in Congress to halt certification of the 2020 election results and keep President Donald Trump in power earlier this year, in a plan dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep.”

In his recently published memoir, Peter Navarro, then-President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, details how he stayed in close contact with Bannon as they put the Green Bay Sweep in motion with help from members of Congress loyal to the cause.

However, he admits his direct and primary role in the heinous crime in order to exonerate Bannon and himself from any responsibility for the violent breach of the Capitol. You see, their brilliant plan was going to work without any riot, and it was actually the riot that prevented a successful coup.

“We spent a lot of time lining up over 100 congressmen, including some senators. It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., [Rep. Paul] Gosar and [Sen. Ted] Cruz did exactly what was expected of them,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protestors, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”

The idea was simply to force 24 hours of delay in the certification, during which six states that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won would figure out how to send alternate electors to DC to cast votes for Trump and Pence.

This isn’t surprising information, but it’s brazen as a defense strategy. He’s admitted to the big crime but denied the small one. He correctly concludes that we’re all focused on the storming of the capitol rather than the intent behind the insurrection, which was to illegally overturn the results of our 2020 presidential election.

The mob injured dozens of police officers, several of whom subsequently died, caused millions in property damage, and assaulted every member of Congress, the vice-president, and hundreds of congressional staffers. But that was minor compared to the effort to deny Biden and Harris their victory and keep Trump in power.

Navarro and Bannon may not have envisioned an actual breach of the Capitol. After all, I think most people thought the Capitol police would be able to keep the mob at bay. But we don’t need to prove that they orchestrated the riot. We need to prove their intent and involvement in a coup attempt, and Navarro has just confessed.

He thinks, however, that he can defend himself by volunteering some of the facts in the hope that the public is so intrigued by the Capitol breach that it never thinks to pursue the coup attempt itself.

The main problem here is that it’s more of a public relations strategy than a legal defense. However, if the Biden administration and the January 6 committee insist on looking at “obstruction of an official proceeding” at the main statute to charge against Trump and his coup-plotters, then Navarro’s strategy just might work. After all, Navarro’s plot involved using a constitutionally allowable provision whereby members of Congress can challenge a state’s electors and force a debate. There is no requirement that the challenge has any merit.

The advantage of sticking to obstruction of a legal proceeding is that it is easier to prove than a full-on insurrection plot. We know that the counting of the votes was indeed disrupted and delayed, whereas the coup attempt failed. But in both cases, the real challenge is proving intent. Did Trump think the mob would storm the Capitol? Is that what he intended? Is that what Bannon and Navarro intended?

Well, Navarro says that the breach was not part of the plan and actually foiled their plan. We may learn more about whether or not that’s true, but Navarro just offered the intent for a coup on a silver platter. He even implicates Trump.

When asked if Trump himself was involved in the strategy, Navarro said, “I never spoke directly to him about it. But he was certainly on board with the strategy. Just listen to his speech that day. He’d been briefed on the law, and how Mike [Pence] had the authority to it.”

So, this is a flawed limited hangout, but one that could still work if our country doesn’t have the balls to charge the larger crime.

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