Sep 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DOJ asks judge to compel Navarro to return Trump White House emails

Peter Navarro, former White House trade adviser, speaks to members of the media after leaving federal court in Washington, D.C., US, on Friday, June 3.

Peter Navarro, former White House trade adviser, speaks to members of the media in Washington, D.C., in June. Photor: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Justice filed a motion Monday asking a judge to order former White House adviser Peter Navarro to return government email communications he allegedly handled through a private account while serving in the Trump administration.

Driving the news: "While serving as a presidential advisor, [Navarro] used at least one non-official email account, namely a ProtonMail account, to send and receive messages in the course of discharging his official duties," the DOJ said in its filing to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

  • "There is no genuine dispute of fact that Dr. Navarro used at least one unofficial email account to conduct official business, that those records are the property of the United States, and that Dr. Navarro has refused to return the records to the United States," the Justice Department said.
  • "Indeed, his counsel has expressly admitted as much. Because Dr. Navarro remains in possession of property that belongs to the United States, this Court should issue a writ of replevin requiring Dr. Navarro to return what he wrongfully continues to possess."

The other side: Representatives for Navarro did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment, but his lawyers told The Hill when the DOJ filed the lawsuit last month that he "never refused to provide records to the government" and he had "instructed his lawyers to preserve all such records."

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