Peter Navarro subpoenaed to grand jury panel

Ex-Trump Aide Navarro Says He’s Been Subpoenaed by Jan. 6 Grand Jury

Pro-Trump protesters storm the grounds of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, 6 January 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE / WILL OLIVER)

(Bloomberg) -- Peter Navarro, former President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, says he’s been ordered to appear Thursday before a federal grand jury.

By Billy House

Word Count: 433
Navarro says in a lawsuit he filed Tuesday that a subpoena served last week also calls on him to turn over records tied to any communications with Trump.That latest move comes amid indications federal prosecutors are entering into a new phase of the investigations tied to Jan. 6, with one or more grand juries focusing directly on Trump’s inner circle. Most of the hundreds of previously known Justice Department cases focused on alleged rioters or fringe or extremist group members and efforts to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The new Navarro subpoena, and another grand jury subpoena issued to Patrick Gartland, who was considering but ultimately declined to serve as a alternate Trump slate elector from Georgia, shows the grand jury is delving into efforts to force a delay in the certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, including involvement by several top Trump allies.

Among people listed as contacts of interest in Gartland’s subpoena are former Trump legal advisers Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and John Eastman. Giuliani and Eastman have been previously depicted by the House committee as central figures in the plan and Ellis also has been described by the committee as having prepared and circulated memos about the effort.

The plan involved creation of false elector slates and certificates declaring Trump the winner of Electoral College votes in seven battleground states that Joe Biden actually won — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These were then sent to the National Archives and other government officials in mid-December 2020, along with supporting documents.

Meanwhile, Navarro is separately battling a contempt of Congress count lodged against him by a House vote on April 6 for defying an earlier subpoena from the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2022 insurrection at the US Capitol. His refusal has been referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution. Whether the grand jury seeking Navarro’s testimony is focused on strictly his congressional criminal contempt case — or broader Trump-inner circle activities — is not immediately clear.

Navarro, in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in US District Court in Washington, asserts that the nine-member House committee is not properly authorized or constituted and thus its legislative acts, including the committee subpoena he defied, are invalid. He also calls the subpoena from the federal grand jury as a resulting legal “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

The House committee had no comment on Navarro’s lawsuit, said spokesman Tim Mulvey.

(Updated 2nd and last paragraphs to reflect Navarro lawsuit is filed)

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