Aug 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DOJ sues Peter Navarro over Trump White House emails

Former White House adviser Peter Navarro
Former White House adviser Peter Navarro. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Department of Justice is suing former White House adviser Peter Navarro for emails from a private account he used while working for former President Trump and for allegedly "wrongfully retaining” those communications, according to court documents.

Why it matters: The lawsuit is an unusual move by the DOJ's Federal Programs Branch — which typically pursues civil matters — targeting alleged sloppy federal records maintenance from the previous administration, per CNN.

What they're saying: The suit alleges that Navarro "refused to return any Presidential records that he retained absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents."

  • "Mr. 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 suit continued.

The other side: Navarro's lawyers told The Hill that he "never refused to provide records to the government."

  • "As detailed in our recent letter to the Archives, Mr. Navarro instructed his lawyers to preserve all such records, and he expects the government to follow standard processes in good faith to allow him to produce records. Instead, the government chose to file its lawsuit today," his attorneys added.

Of note: Navarro had previously been indicted for contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

  • Navarro refused to give testimony or produce documents in compliance with the subpoena.
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