Peter Navarro, once an adviser to former President Donald Trump, on Wednesday asked a federal judge to dismiss charges against him of criminal contempt of Congress, arguing that the Department of Justice's move was "in direct contradiction of decades of Department of Justice policy and precedent."
Navarro in his filing argued that he had "been unfairly caught in a dispute between the executive and legislative branches of our government and placed on the horns of a dilemma: follow the explicit instructions from the President he served as a senior adviser for four years, or risk being held in Contempt of Congress and criminally prosecuted by the Department of Justice."
He added: "A prosecution for Contempt of Congress following a legitimate assertion of Executive Privilege precluding Dr. Navarro's appearance before the Select Committee, the prosecution of Dr. Navarro for contempt of Congress necessarily violates the doctrine of Separation of Powers and is unconstitutional."
Navarro was indicted in May for contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Navarro refused to testify or produce documents in compliance with the subpoena.
The DOJ sued Navarro in early August for emails from a private account he used while working for Trump and for allegedly "wrongfully retaining" those communications.
The suit alleged that Navarro "refused to return any Presidential records that he retained absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents."
"Mr. Navarro is wrongfully retaining Presidential records that are the property of the United States, and which constitute part of the permanent historical record of the prior administration," the suit continued.
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