The no-frills FBI arrest of Donald Trump’s former trade adviser Peter Navarro for defying a subpoena is probably going a “hard message” from the Department of Justice that it’s not “playing around,” a former federal prosecutor said Saturday.
Navarro was charged with two criminal contempt of Congress counts for defying a subpoena to seem before the Jan. 6 House committee and failing to supply demanded documents.
He angrily complained to a judge and reporters outside court after his arrest Friday at an airport in Washington, D.C., that he was handcuffed and locked in a jail cell. He told journalists that the subpoenas he defied were “ultra vigorous,” “unenforceable,” and “unconstitutional.”
Navarro is on a lengthy rant about his treatment by the FBI. “I used to be a distinguished public servant for 4 years,” he says. “Nobody ever complained about my ethics.”
— Andrew Goudsward (@AGoudsward) June 3, 2022
Former federal prosecutor and noted defense attorney Shan Wu said on CNN Saturday that he saw “absolutely” nothing improper with Navarro’s arrest. Navarro said he was denied a phone call after his arrest, but since he’s representing himself, Wu was confused about what attorneys would have been contacted.
Wu said it’s a “little unusual that in a white-collar case they wouldn’t have allowed him to self-surrender. That might indicate … they may need been concerned that it was hard to succeed in him and he might flee, given he was representing himself. And [they] can have been attempting to send a message.”
He added: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence of the timing” that Navarro was arrested when officials also announced that Trump ally Dan Scavino and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wouldn’t be charged for defying their subpoenas.
Navarro’s arrest “can have been to make that time they’re not playing around, that after they [do] indict, they’re going to treat people quite seriously,” he added.
Navarro has claimed he cannot cooperate with the House committee because he’s protected by executive privilege from “the president,” meaning Trump. Not only has Navarro already spilled several details he now refuses to debate in his recent book, but executive privilege isn’t Trump’s to grant; it’s President Joe Biden’s. And Biden has refused to grant executive privilege to those targeted by the House committee investigating last yr’s rebel.
So it’s just about a “slam dunk against” Navarro on that time, said Wu.
Try the complete interview here: