House COVID Panel Issues Warning After Ex-Trump Aide Navarro Refuses to Comply With Subpoena

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonIn this Friday, March 27, 2020 file photo, White House adviser Peter Navarro speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington, as President Donald Trump listens.
In this Friday, March 27, 2020 file photo, White House adviser Peter Navarro speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington, as President Donald Trump listens. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.12.2021
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In a December 7th memo, former Trump-era economic policy adviser Peter Navarro informed the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that he was unable to respond to the subpoena due to former US President Donald Trump's invocation of executive privilege and a direct order from 45.
US Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) issued a statement on Saturday rejecting Navarro's argument that Trump's "executive order" defence prevented him from complying with a subpoena issued on November 18th.

"[Y]our letter presents no valid basis for refusing to comply with the subpoena", Clyburn declared in quoted statement, referring to Navarro's previous memo. "Your refusal to comply is particularly indefensible given that you disclosed many details about your work in the White House, including details of conversations with the former president about the pandemic response, in your recent book and related press tour".

Clyburn stated that the House Select Subcommittee expects Navarro to appear at his December 15th deposition and produce all requested records and information, as laid out in the subpoena.
During his time in the Trump administration, Navarro served as director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and assistant to the president.
Navarro emphasised in his memo that Trump specifically told him "to protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments".
He argued that, because this was a direct and explicit order, he must remain non-compliant until the scope of the privilege is negotiated.
However, the committee, which has been tasked with investigating possible political interference in the US government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has argued that legal precedents and current rules do not fit Trump's argument of "executive privilege".
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