The Justice Department on Wednesday sued former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for emails he sent through a private account while conducting work in the Trump White House.
Navarro, a rare Trump aide whose White House job lasted the entire tenure of Trump’s, had ‘at least one non-official email account … to send and receive messages constituting Presidential records,’ according to the DOJ.
According to the lawsuit the National Archives learned of the private email account from the House committee investigating the government’s response to Covid-19. Between 200 and 250 emails from a ProtonMail account linked to Navarro should have been handed over to the Archives, prosecutors say.
When the archivist tried to contact Navarro about the emails, he did not respond. When the Justice Department contacted him, he said he would not be handing over the emails ‘absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents.’
Navarro had a heavy hand in Trump’s coronavirus response and was named policy coordinator of his use of the Defense Production Act to drum up more supplies.
Navarro had a heavy hand in Trump’s coronavirus response and was named policy coordinator of his use of the Defense Production Act to drum up more supplies
Navarro, outside a courthouse, claimed he had been arrested, put in ‘leg irons’ and placed in John Hinckley’s cell when he ignored a congressional subpoena
The lawsuit alleges Navarro ‘is wrongfully retaining Presidential records that are the property of the United States, and which constitute part of the permanent historical record of the prior administration.’
The civil lawsuit has been assigned to Clinton appointee District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
Separately Navarro is entangled in a criminal lawsuit after he was arrested and indicted for contempt of Congress for denying a subpoena to testify in front of the Jan. 6 committee. In July the former trade adviser rejected a plea deal, claiming that former President Trump assured him he is covered by executive privilege.
His trial is scheduled for November. The chances of him winning are slim after former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress earlier this month for denying a congressional subpoena.
Navarro has publicly blasted the agents who arrested him after they confronted him while he was boarding a flight to Nashville.
‘I actually live right next to the FBI. It’s like a 100-yard walk to my door. What did they do instead of that? They let me get all the way to the airport, try to board the plane, come at me, put me in handcuffs, not let me use my phone, take me down, and put me in a jail cell,’ he told reporters outside the courthouse.
‘Who are these people? This is not America,’ Navarro said. ‘I was a distinguished public servant for four years!’
Navarro told reporters he’d been locked up in Ronald Reagan shooter John Hinckley’s cell. ‘They seemed to think that was like an important historical note.’ He said he’d been shackled in handcuffs and leg irons.
Navarro called the manor of his arrest ‘terrorism’ and akin to ‘Stalinist Russia.’
He then went after the House Minority Leader: ‘Shame on Kevin McCarthy.’ Navarro claimed McCarthy had not done enough to push back on the select subcommittee investigating Jan. 6.