Former President Donald Trump on Saturday asked his former trade adviser Peter Navarro to keep mum and “protect executive privilege” in the investigation by the “Communist Democrats” into his administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Navarro, former director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, was subpoenaed Thursday by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis chaired by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.). The committee is looking into the Trump administration’s response to the deadly COVID-19 surge last year, months after Trump vowed it would quickly vanish.
“I’m telling Peter Navarro to protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments,” Trump said in a statement posted Saturday by aide Liz Harrington on her Twitter account. (Trump has been banned from Twitter.)
Trump called his administration’s response to COVID-19 “unprecedented and incredible,” even though more than 400,000 Americans died on his watch from the illness.
Navarro’s subpoena demands that he appear for a deposition Dec. 1 and hand over documents connected to the coronavirus response by Dec. 8, Bloomberg reported.
Navarro frequently spouted lies about the coronavirus and the administration. He insisted Trump’s demands to slow testing so COVID-19 cases wouldn’t look so bad were “tongue in cheek.” He has baselessly called the pandemic a “product of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Navarro was named in an investigative government report earlier this month as one of at least 13 Trump aides and officials who brazenly violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal workers from using their government positions to influence elections.
Navarro spent time campaigning for Trump on the taxpayer’s dime while he was supposed to be serving the public doing government work, an earlier report concluded.
He already appears to have thumbed his nose at the House committee in a tweet.