“On May 26, 2022, two FBI special agents knocked loudly on my door in the early hours of the morning to present me with a fruit from the poisonous tree,” a grand jury subpoena “ordering me to comply with the ‘original … subpoena issued to me by the Committee dated February 9, 2022,’ Navarro said in the 88-page complaint.
The committee subpoenaed Navarro in February to search for records and testimony from the former trade adviser, who wrote and publicly discussed efforts to strategize to delay or uncertify the 2020 election.
Navarro responded at the time with a statement denying the committee’s request and legitimacy and blaming Pelosi, among others, for the violence that occurred on January 6, 2021. He argued that Trump “claimed executive privilege; and it is not my privilege to renounce.
The House then voted in April to hold Navarro and former White House communications chief Daniel Scavino Jr. in defiance of Congress, leading to criminal referrals to the Justice Department, which has the power to charge the two former officials with misdemeanors that could result in up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
The pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was trying to prevent Democrat Joe Biden from being certified as an election victory. The attack killed five people and injured around 140 law enforcement personnel.
Navarro is among several Trump advisers who have been subpoenaed by the select committee and are seeking to avoid testifying by citing Trump’s claim of executive privilege. The panel also issued subpoenas to five House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (California).
In a February letter accompanying the original subpoena, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Chairman of the Select Committee, cited reports that Navarro “worked with Steve Bannon and others to develop and implement implement a plan to delay Congressional certification”. of, and ultimately change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.”
The letter also cited Navarro’s recent book, in which he detailed a plan he called “The Green Bay Sweep,” which he described as “the last best chance to snatch an election stolen from the deceptive jaws of the Democrats.” The subpoena also described a Navarro report posted online that repeated “numerous allegations of alleged election fraud that have been discredited.”
Navarro said in his lawsuit against Pelosi and the committee that he was assigned to testify before a grand jury on June 2 and present “[a]all documents relating to the subpoena dated February 9, 2022 “that he received from the committee, “including, but not limited to, any communication with official President Trump and/or his attorney or representative.”
“As demonstrated in this brief, the executive privilege asserted by President Trump is not mine or Joe Biden’s to waive,” Navarro argued. “Instead, as with the Committee, the U.S. Attorney has constitutional and due process obligations to negotiate my appearance before [the grand jury] not with me but rather with President Trump and his attorneys and I am bound by privilege not to comply with this grand jury subpoena in the absence of these negotiations and the advice of President Trump.
Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger contributed to this report.