U.S. Capitol riot probe hits Trump trade adviser Navarro with subpoena

2 minute read

White House advisor Peter Navarro leaves the West Wing carrying a poster board displaying claims of voting irregularity at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol announced on Wednesday it had subpoenaed former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, a key player in then-President Donald Trump's effort to overturn his election defeat.

The House of Representatives committee said it is seeking records and deposition testimony from Navarro who, according to public reporting, interviews and his own book, was involved in efforts to delay Congress' certification of the 2020 election.

"Mr. Navarro appears to have information directly relevant to the Select Committee's investigation into the causes of the Jan. 6 attack on the capitol," Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee's Democratic chairman, said in a statement.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

"He hasn’t been shy about his role in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and has even discussed the former President’s support for those plans," Thompson said.

In response to a request for comment, Navarro said Trump had claimed his communications while in the White House are protected by executive privilege. "President Trump has invoked Executive Privilege; and it is not my privilege to waive," he said in a statement.

Navarro served as White House trade policy adviser under Trump. Navarro has said in media interviews and his book that he helped coordinate an effort - "the Green Bay Sweep" to halt certification of Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the Nov. 3, 2020 election and keep Trump, a Republican, in power.

"We spent a lot of time lining up over 100 congressmen, including some senators," Navarro told the Daily Beast in December.

"It was a perfect plan," he added.

The committee has so far interviewed more than 500 witnesses, issued more than 60 subpoenas and obtained more than 50,000 pages of records as it probes the causes of the assault by a pro-Trump mob on the Capitol, and the role played by Trump, who continues to push false claims that his election defeat to Biden was the result of fraud. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the violence.

The committee is aiming to release an interim report in the summer and a final report in the fall, a source familiar with the investigation said in December.

It asked Navarro to produce documents by Feb. 23 and appear for a deposition on March 2.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Jan Wolfe; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Paul Simao and Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.