The FBI’s no-nonsense arrest of former Donald Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro for defying a subpoena is likely a “hard message” from the Justice Department that it’s not “fooling around,” a former federal prosecutor said Saturday.
Navarro was charged with two counts of criminal contempt for Congressional numbers for defying a subpoena to appear before the Jan. 6 House Committee and failing to produce the required documents.
After his arrest Friday at a Washington, DC airport, he angrily complained to a judge and reporters outside court that he had been handcuffed and locked in a jail cell. He told reporters that the subpoenas he was resisting were “extremely vigorous,” “unenforceable,” and “unconstitutional.”
Former federal prosecutor and well-known defense attorney Shan Wu told CNN on Saturday that he saw “absolutely” nothing improper in Navarro’s arrest. Navarro said he was denied a phone call after his arrest, but since he is representing himself, Wu was confused as to which lawyers would have been contacted.
Wu said it was “a bit unusual that in an economic case they didn’t allow him to surrender himself. That may indicate… they may have been concerned that he was difficult to reach and he may be escaping as he was representing himself. and [they] may have tried to send a message.”
He added, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence of timing” that Navarro was arrested, just as officials also announced Trump ally Dan Scavino and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows would not be charged because they resisted their subpoenas.
Navarro’s arrest “was perhaps to indicate that they are not fooling around, that if they [do] charge, they’re going to treat people pretty seriously,” he added.
Navarro has claimed he cannot work with the House Committee because he is protected by executive privileges from “the President,” meaning Trump. Not only has Navarro already revealed several details that he now refuses to mention in his latest book, but Trump also has no executive privileges to grant; it’s President Joe Biden’s. And Biden has refused to grant executive privileges to those targeted by last year’s House committee investigating the insurgency.
So it’s pretty much a “slam dunk against” Navarro on that point, Wu said.
Watch the full interview here: