But his emails!
The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro on Wednesday alleging that he had used “at least one non-official” ProtonMail email account while working for the White House and, in violation of the Presidential Records Act (PRA), had failed to turn over the records he’d sent and received on that account at the end of the Trump administration.
“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 prosecutors wrote in their complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The prosecutors stated that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the agency to which Navarro was supposed to turn over the emails, became aware of the ex-official’s ProtonMail account late last year through the investigation being held by the House’s subcommittee on the government’s COVID-19 response.
Navarro allegedly ignored NARA’s subsequent requests for the emails.
The complaint noted that the Justice Department had taken steps to avoid resorting to litigation by reaching out to Navarro on June 1 asking for the emails.
According to the prosecutors, Navarro’s legal team, after sifting through the emails on the ProtonMail account, told the DOJ on July 25 that the private server had between 200 and 250 records, approximately, that fell under the PRA.
However, Navarro’s lawyers refused to hand over any of the records unless the government promised their client a “grant of immunity” in exchange for them, the prosecutors alleged.
The complaint asked the court to order Navarro to hand over the documents.
The DOJ’s lawsuit is an unwelcome addition to the legal woes Navarro’s already grappling with with the federal government, which charged him with criminal contempt of Congress in June for stonewalling the House Jan. 6 Committee’s investigation into the Capitol attack.
Navarro has pleaded not guilty to the contempt charges.
Read the DOJ’s new lawsuit below: