Peter Navarro, a former Trump White House adviser, was handcuffed at the airport in Washington, D.C., Friday and ‘frogmarched’ away. This comes one day after he told MSNBC that he will lead the charge to impeach President Biden if Republicans retake Congress in November.
Navarro was held in contempt of Congress in March for ignoring subpoenas from the House Jan. 6 select committee. The timing of carrying out a very public arrest is quite interesting.
Multiple reports say he was not invited to surrender privately to the FBI. Instead, the former trade advisor was arrested Friday morning as he attempted to board a plane to Nashville for a scheduled TV appearance.
Navarro accused the Justice Department of “misconduct” for the airport arrest and handcuffing as he was taken into custody. He said in his first court appearance later in the day that he was not allowed to make a phone call after being arrested.
Trump’s former advisor is one of several targets of the committee who have sued in federal court. The litigants assert that the body’s actions violate separation of powers and even its own enabling resolution.
As for Navarro himself, he has not handed over documents and given testimony to the panel. He was indicted Thursday and the announcement by the Justice Department came down Friday.
Critics note multiple instances of officials in the Obama administration being held in contempt by the GOP-controlled House and avoiding arrest.
The former Trump advisor defends his refusal to turn over documents on the grounds of executive privilege, which guards a president’s communications. He is the second high-ranking Trump adviser to be indicted in the investigation, joining former top strategist Steve Bannon.
In Navarro’s recently filed civil suit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Jan. 6 select committee, he argues the case against him is politically motivated. He further asserts it is the result of collusion between the Department of Justice, Congress, and the Biden administration.
Navarro claims to have put together the effort to block certification of Biden’s electoral college win and thus keep Trump in the White House.
The committee is investigating events surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which followed an emotional rally where Trump denounced what he termed a “stolen” election.
During the Trump administration, Navarro was widely seen as one of the president’s most effective advisors. He is a noted anti-China hawk and pushed for tariffs on the U.S. rival, and his unusual arrest raises many serious questions.