Peter Navarro, a former White House trade adviser, this week refused to comply with a subpoena from a House probe into the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“At this time, I am unable to respond to the Subpoena, based on former President Trump’s invocation of executive privilege with respect to the very topic covered by the Subpoena,” Navarro wrote in a letter dated Dec. 7 to Rep. Jim Clyburn.
Clyburn, chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, on Saturday said that Navarro’s “blanket refusal to comply with the subpoena in its entirety is improper,” according to The Washington Post.
In the letter to Navarro, Clyburn rejected the former Trump aide’s claim to executive privilege.
“It is abundantly clear that you possess information responsive to the subpoena that is not covered by any colorable claims of executive privilege,” he wrote to Navarro.
Trump last month told Navarro “to protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments” with respect to the House probe. In his Tuesday letter to the House subcommittee, Navarro called this a “direct, proper and explicit invocation” of the former president’s executive privilege.
Navarro went on to describe the matter as currently “out of [his] hands,” saying the subcommittee should discuss it with Trump and his counsel.
The House subcomittee was set up to investigate the Trump administration’s response to Covid-19, including the former president’s appointees interfering in reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.