The FBI’s no-nonsense arrest of Donald Trump’s former trade adviser Peter Navarro for defying a subpoena is likely a ‘harsh message’ from the Justice Department that he’s not ‘having fun’ , a former federal prosecutor said Saturday.
Navarro was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a Jan. 6 House committee subpoena and for failing to provide requested documents.
He angrily complained to a judge and reporters in court after he was arrested at a Washington, DC airport on Friday for being handcuffed and locked in a jail cell. He told reporters the subpoenas he challenged were “ultra 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 about which lawyers would have been contacted.
Wu said it’s “a bit unusual that in a white-collar business they didn’t allow him to surrender. This could indicate…that they were possibly concerned that it would be difficult to reach him and that he might flee, given that he was representing himself. And [they] maybe tried to send a message.
He added, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence the moment” Navarro was arrested when officials also announced that Trump ally Dan Scavino and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will not would not be charged for defying their subpoenas.
Navarro’s arrest “may have been to make it clear that they weren’t kidding, that when they [do] charge, they are going to treat people very seriously,” he added.
Navarro claimed he could not cooperate with the House committee because he was protected by the executive privilege of the “president”, i.e. Trump. Not only has Navarro already divulged several details that he now declines to discuss in his recent book, executive privilege is not Trump’s to grant; it is that of President Joe Biden. And Biden has refused to grant executive privilege to those targeted by the House committee investigating last year’s insurgency.
So it’s pretty much a “slam dunk against” Navarro on that point, Wu said.
Check out the full interview here: