The FBI arrested a former Trump administration official Friday after a federal grand jury indicted him on two counts of contempt of Congress.
The Biden administration slapped economist Peter Navarro with the charges for allegedly failing to produce documents Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Committee demanded and not appearing to testify, according to court documents.
Navarro had worked as the director of trade and manufacturing policy and National Defense Production Act policy coordinator during his time as a trade adviser to former President Donald Trump.
The 72-year-old was scheduled to appear before court at 2:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C., according to CNN.
In April, the House voted to hold the adviser in contempt, alleging that he did not respond to a subpoena the committee had issued in February to obtain documents and testimony from the former Trump official, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The indictment documents stated that the committee had emailed Navarro reminding him of the documents and deposition on Feb. 24. Navarro replied: “President Trump has invoked Executive Privilege in this matter … Accordingly, my hands are tied.”
The privilege protects the confidentiality of certain correspondence between a president and his advisers.
The committee responded, “There are topics, including those discussed in the subpoena’s cover letter, that the Select Committee believes it can discuss with you without raising any executive privilege concerns at all.”
“In any event, you must appear to assert any executive privilege objections on a question-by-question basis during the deposition,” the committee wrote.
Navarro answered that the “privilege is not mine to waive,” adding that it would be “incumbent on the Committee to directly negotiate with President Trump and his attorneys regarding any and all things related to this matter.”
The committee rejected Navarro’s reasoning again. Navarro failed to appear for his March 2 testimony.
Pelosi’s January 6 committee was interested in Navarro because he had published reports of election fraud during the controversial 2020 presidential elections, the Journal reported.
In a book, Navarro had also suggested a strategy then-Vice President Mike Pence could use to halt the certification of Biden’s victory to get more time to investigate results in six states, according to the outlet.
Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon also received similar charges in November, to which he pleaded not guilty. Bannon is awaiting trial in July.
In a Thursday interview with MSNBC, Navarro had threatened retaliation for the Democrats’ witch hunt against conservatives and Trump administration officials whom they claim were behind the January 6 Capitol incursion.
“You bet your a** that I will lead the charge,” Navarro said. “I will take Adam Schiff and Jamie Raskin and Nancy Pelosi and Rosa DeLauro — all of those clowns and kangaroos — I’ll take Biden and every single senior staff member in there –“
“And do what?” interviewer Ari Melber asked.
“Hit them with subpoenas,” Navarro replied. “We’ll start with the impeachment of Biden for Ukraine, the southern border, all manner of things he is guilty of and we’ll subpoena his senior staff.”
“I will push as hard as I can to use the same b.s. the Democrats are using now to try to put me in prison for standing up for principle,” Navarro said. “If they want to play that game, we’ll play it right back. They’ll hit us, we hit them back harder.
“That’s not what I want, Ari,” he added. “Let me be clear. I do not want that.”
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