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DOJ sues former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, accusing him of “wrongfully retaining” emails

The Department of Justice is suing former White House adviser Peter Navarro for emails from the private account he used while doing work for former President Trump and for allegedly “wrongfully retaining those communications, in accordance with court papers.

Why it matters: The lawsuit can be an unusual move by the DOJ’s Federal Programs Branch which typically pursues civil matters targeting alleged sloppy federal records maintenance from the prior administration, per CNN.

What they’re saying: The suit alleges that Navarro “refused to come back any Presidential records he retained absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents.”

  • “Mr. Navarro is wrongfully retaining Presidential records which are the house of america, and which constitute section of the permanent historical record of the last administration,” the suit continued.

Another side: Navarro’s lawyers told The Hill he “never refused to supply records to the federal government.”

  • “As detailed inside our recent letter to the Archives, Mr. Navarro instructed his lawyers to preserve all such records, and he expects the federal government to check out standard processes in good faith to permit him to create records. Instead, the federal government thought we would file its lawsuit today,” his attorneys added.

Of note: Navarro had previously been indicted for contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas from the home select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

  • Navarro refused to provide testimony or produce documents in compliance with the subpoena.

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