A federal appeals court has denied an effort by former Trump adviser Peter Navarro to block an order requiring him to turn over to the government between 200 and 250 emails he sent using a private email account during his time in the Trump administration. .
in a unanimous order of two pages On Wednesday, the three-judge panel wrote that Navarro «has not shown that he is entitled to a stay» after he appealed a federal judge’s order to return the emails to the National Archives.
“There is no public interest in Navarro’s withholding of the records, and Congress has recognized that the public has an interest in the Nation’s possession and retention of the presidential records,” the appeals panel concluded.
The Justice Department sued Navarro last year to force him to turn over the emails after his refusal to comply without first being granted immunity. Navarro’s lawyers at the time alleged that the Justice Department was using the Presidential Records Act, which requires official White House records to be preserved, as a way to gather evidence against him in his criminal contempt of court case. Congress in progress. They argued that forcing Navarro to produce the emails could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected Navarro’s lawyers’ argument, ordering him last month to «return to the United States emails from his personal email account that constitute presidential records.» and that in all cases they were prepared during his tenure in the White House. from 2017 to 2021. Producing these pre-existing records in no way implies forced witness communication that is incriminating.”
Navarro appealed the order and asked the court to stay Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling while the appeal was pending.
Following the appeals court ruling, Kollar-Kotelly Navarro ordered to turn over the 200-250 presidential records he identified as being in his possession on or before Friday. In addition, he ordered Navarro to complete additional searches of presidential records on or before May 8, with other hearings scheduled for the next month.
Navarro’s attorneys declined NBC News’ request for comment Thursday.
In its lawsuit against Navarro, the DOJ noted that the National Archives became aware in December 2021 that he used a personal account with ProtonMail, an encrypted email service, to send and receive official emails while serving as an adviser to the then President Donald Trump. Navarro violated the Presidential Records Act by failing to copy his official White House account in email exchanges or forward email chains to his White House account, the Justice Department alleged.
When the National Archives asked Navarro to turn over the records, he did not respond, the Justice Department said in its complaint.
Separately, Navarro was ordered to stand trial on criminal contempt of Congress charges for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee after a judge denied his attempt to delay proceedings so he could promote his new book. However, a judge ruled in January to delay the trial for months. Navarro has pleaded not guilty to the charges.