Former President Donald Trump requested his former trade advisor Peter Navarro on Saturday to remain silent and “defend executive privilege” in the “Communist Democrats'” inquiry of his administration’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led by Rep. James Clyburn, subpoenaed Navarro, former director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, on Thursday (D-SC). The committee is investigating the Trump administration’s reaction to last year’s deadly COVID-19 spike, which occurred months after Trump promised it would be eradicated soon.
“I’m telling Peter Navarro to protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments,” Trump said in a statement released on Twitter Saturday by assistant Liz Harrington.
Trump praised his administration’s reaction to COVID-19 as “unprecedented and incredible,” despite the fact that more than 400,000 Americans perished from the disease while he was in office.
Navarro’s subpoena requires him to attend for a deposition on December 1 and deliver over records related to the coronavirus response by December 8.
President Donald J. Trump:
"The Communist Democrats are engaging in yet another Witch Hunt, this time going after my Administration’s unprecedented and incredible coronavirus response, despite the fact that, sadly, more Americans have died this year from Covid than in all pic.twitter.com/BqfC15eNY7
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 20, 2021
Navarro routinely spread false information concerning the coronavirus and the administration. Trump’s requests to halt testing so COVID-19 instances don’t seem so awful, he said, were “tongue in cheek.” He has falsely claimed that the epidemic is a “product of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Navarro was listed earlier this month in an investigative government study as one of at least 13 Trump advisors and officials who flagrantly violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from using their government positions to influence elections.
An previous study determined that Navarro wasted taxpayer money advocating for Trump when he was supposed to be serving the public by conducting government work.
He seems to have previously snubbed the House committee in a tweet.
— Peter Navarro (@RealPNavarro) November 20, 2021
A congressional committee looking into the Trump administration’s reaction to the Covid-19 crisis filed a subpoena Navarro for failing to comply to document demands.
This is the second subpoena issued this year by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The committee is looking into whether former Trump administration officials botched the government response to the epidemic, including if it interfered with the work of its own health agencies and how it sought to alter its narrative to diminish the virus’s risks.
In September, the committee sent its first subpoena to Steven Hatfill, a virologist and former Navarro advisor. That month, the committee also issued Navarro a document request. The subpoena issued on Thursday requires Navarro to submit papers by December 8 and to attend for a deposition by December 15.
Navarro branded the congressional inquiry and subpoena a “witch hunt.”
“I will be bringing a case of my new book, ‘In Trump Time,’ which shows why this is definitely a witch hunt,” he stated.
Navarro joined President Donald Trump’s cabinet as head of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy at the start of his presidency. When the epidemic struck, Navarro rose to become an increasingly powerful part of the White House response team, advising the president on supply shortages and ways to keep the American economy operating amid lockdowns. His testimony and personal papers would provide light on how the Trump administration responded to early warnings about the virus, the infection’s potential economic effects, and how it went about acquiring products such as masks, gowns, and ventilators.
Navarro maintained a daily notebook on his time at the White House and used an encrypted personal email account to interact with White House staff between February 2020 and January 2021, according to past document requests.
Hatfill is seen in emails obtained by the committee in September alerting Navarro about how little scientists know about Covid-19 and urging “frank honesty.”
“In reality, we have no idea how many people are sick in the United States.” ,” Hatfill added. Several days after Hatfill’s letter, Navarro sent a letter to Trump, who was at the time labeling the virus a Democratic hoax, in which he asserted that the administration’s response to the outbreak was “NOT fast enough.”
Despite the early warnings, the select panel’s chairman, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), claimed Navarro “pursued a haphazard and ineffective approach to procurement,” according to a letter he gave to committee members on Thursday.
Navarro assisted in the process of procuring medical supplies and pharmaceuticals for the United States in 2020, delegating most of the duty to states to get their own items on the free market. Navarro awarded contracts to companies with close ties to the administration without going through the normal open-bidding process in order to build up the federal government’s stockpiles, and prioritized securing personal protective equipment manufactured in the United States despite a lack of manufacturing capacity in the country.
Navarro also advocated erroneous Covid-19 policy and research while working on the pandemic response, and he sparred with senior health professionals in the government.
Despite a lack of scientific data, Navarro started promoting hydroxychloroquine as a possible therapy for Covid-19 in August of 2020. The Food and Drug Administration had issued a warning against using it outside of clinical trials and had canceled the emergency use license in the months before. Navarro, on the other hand, continued to assert that the medicine worked and chastised physicians and scientists for not pushing for its usage, often citing untrustworthy medical papers.
Perhaps most significantly, Navarro formed an antagonistic relationship with Anthony Fauci, one of the Covid-19 task group leaders. Fauci has publicly criticized Navarro’s proposals for controlling the virus’s transmission, particularly the use of hydroxychloroquine. On national television, Navarro aggressively lambasted Fauci, falsely stating that he was responsible for the creation of Covid-19 because to financial relations between the National Institutes of Health and a lab in Wuhan, China.