The Justice Department has ordered former Trump administration trade advisor Peter Navarro to hand over hundreds of emails from a personal encrypted account that he used while working in the White House.
Navarro was required to turn over any records generated or received while working in his official capacity for the president under the Presidential Records Act (PRA). This explicitly includes records sent or received on an unofficial account.
However, the former Trump advisor argued that the PRA does not impose an obligation on him to turn over presidential records, cannot be enforced because there is no explicit mechanism, and is “’vague’ and unsettled,”
In Thursday’s opinion, District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected each of Navarro’s arguments as to why he felt he didn’t need to turn over the emails from his personal account.
“These arguments ignore or contravene the statute’s purpose, framework and provisions,” Kollar-Kotelly noted in her opinion.
According to reports from The Hill, Navarro’s attorneys identified between 200-250 emails that would qualify as presidential records in response to a request by the Department of Justice, but he refused to turn them over.
The DOJ sued Navarro for the Proton Mail account materials last year after the former adviser refused to turn them over without a “grant of immunity.”