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Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro subpoenaed by grand jury

<i>Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro

By Paula Reid, CNN

Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department — the first indication the department is acting on the criminal referral from the House of Representatives to hold Donald Trump’s one-time trade adviser in contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol.

Navarro, who revealed Monday that he had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors, said he will respond by the end of Wednesday. The New York Times was first to report Monday that Navarro said he’d been subpoenaed.

The subpoena from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, a copy of which CNN obtained on Tuesday, specifically requests “all documents relating to the subpoena dated February 9, 2022, that you received from the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, including but not limited to any communications with former President Trump and/or his counsel or representatives.”

The US Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the subpoena.

In April, the House voted to recommend Navarro be referred to the Justice Department on criminal contempt of Congress charges for refusing to comply with the select committee’s February subpoena.

The grand jury subpoena was revealed in a draft copy of a lawsuit obtained by CNN on Monday that Navarro said he intended to file against the House select committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the US attorney for the District of Columbia.

Navarro is representing himself in the suit and is seeking to convince a federal judge to block both the House committee’s subpoena and the grand jury’s subpoena, which he says are unlawful.

“The kangaroo committee gave me an illegal and unenforceable subpoena. I failed to comply because of the untenable situation that put me in with respect to honoring executive privilege,” Navarro told CNN on Tuesday about the select committee’s subpoena.

Navarro has been public about his attempts to work with the Trump campaign to subvert the 2020 presidential election.

In a recent book, the former White House trade adviser details a plan called the “Green Bay Sweep,” which involved convincing state leaders in several swing states to call election results into question in an attempt to delay and eventually prevent the election’s certification.

Navarro maintains in the book that he was among the “last three people on God’s green earth who wanted to see violence erupt” on January 6, 2021 — counting himself among the likes of Trump and Trump ally and adviser Steve Bannon.

In an appearance on Bannon’s podcast earlier this year, Navarro appeared to criticize former Vice President Mike Pence for saying Trump had been wrong to claim Pence had the authority to overturn the 2020 election. Navarro blasted Pence as “never a pure Trump guy” and “the prisoner of Marc Short,” a longtime Pence confidant and the former vice president’s chief of staff, who has appeared before the House select committee.

This story has been updated with additional information Tuesday.

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