WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Thursday ordered Peter Navarro, a former aide to Donald Trump, to hand over to the National Archives 200 to 250 emails he sent during his time in the Trump administration using a private email account instead of his White House email. were sent
In August 2022, the Justice Department filed a civil suit against Navarro to compel him to hand over the emails after refusing to do so without first being granted immunity. Navarro’s lawyers alleged that the Justice Department was using the Presidential Records Act, which requires that official White House records be preserved, as evidence in an ongoing criminal contempt of Congress case against him. can be collected. They argued that forcing Navarro to produce the emails could violate his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.
US District Judge Colleen Koller-Cotelli wrote in Thursday’s ruling that Navarro was “asked to return to the United States emails from his personal email account that constitute the records of the President and which were conducted at the White House from 2017 to 2021.” were prepared during his tenure.. The production of these pre-existing records does not in any way constitute a forced testimonial communication of the offense being committed.
Kollar-Cotelli, who sits on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, wrote that the Presidential Records Act “makes clear that presidential advisers like Dr. Navarro are part and parcel of the statutory scheme, in which they are entitled to the protection of the president.” records during their tenure so that they can be transferred [the National Archives] at the end of the administration.”
NBC News has reached out to Navarro’s attorneys for comment.
The Justice Department said in its lawsuit that in December 2021, the National Archives discovered that Navarro used a personal account with ProtonMail, an encrypted email service, to send and receive official email while serving as an adviser to the president. did. The department said Navarro did not copy email exchanges to his official White House account, nor did he forward email chains to his White House account, which is a violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The Justice Department complaint states that the National Archives had reached out to Navarro to ask that he turn over the records, but he did not respond.
Separately, Navarro has been ordered to stand trial on criminal contempt of Congress charges for refusing to cooperate with the January 6 committee, when a judge refused in his bid to delay the proceedings. refused so that he could promote his new book. However, a judge moved the case in January, delaying the trial for months. Navarro has pleaded not guilty to the charges.