Justice Department is suing ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro over disclosure of White House emails

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is suing former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro to force him to produce emails from a personal account he allegedly used for official White House business.

In the complaint filed Wednesday, the department asked a judge to order Navarro to turn over the records.

Navarro, a top trade adviser in the Trump administration, has refused to release the documents without first receiving a “grant of immunity for the return of such records,” the complaint said.

Last December, it was revealed to the National Archives and Records Administration that Navarro had used a personal account with ProtonMail, an encrypted email service, to send and receive official email while serving as an aide to the President, it says in the complaint. Navarro did not copy his official White House account into the email exchanges, nor forwarded the email chains to his White House account, in violation of the Presidential Records Act, it said.


The National Archives contacted Navarro and asked him to turn over the missing records, but he never responded, according to the complaint.

In response to the department’s lawsuit, Navarro’s attorneys John Irving and John Rowley said in a statement Wednesday that their client “never declined to provide documentation to the government.”

“As detailed in our recent letter to the Archives, Mr. Navarro has directed his attorneys to retain all of these records and he expects the Government to follow standard good faith procedures to enable him to produce records. Instead, the government has decided to file its lawsuit today,” they wrote.

Separately, Navarro was tried in November for criminally contempt of congressional charges for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee after a judge denied his request to delay the trial in part to allow for a new one to promote book. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In a letter attached to the Justice Department’s filing, Irving expressed “concerns about the coordination between various government investigations and the protection of Mr. Navarro’s constitutional rights.”

“Put simply, we are concerned that the government is using the Presidential Records Act as an investigative tool, not only in relation to Mr. Navarro’s ongoing criminal case, but also in relation to broader investigations being conducted by both Congress and the Executive Branch. Irving wrote in the July 29 letter.

“While we recognize Mr. Navarro’s obligations under the Presidential Records Act, we must also recognize the conflict between the law and his rights under the Constitution, including the Fifth Amendment,” he added. Justice Department is suing ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro over disclosure of White House emails

Fry Electronics Team

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