Peter Navarro threatened with contempt if he doesn’t turn over presidential records

by | Feb 21, 2024

Peter Navarro, a former advisor to President Trump, was threatened with contempt on Tuesday for refusing to turn over numerous presidential records to the National Archives.

According to a six-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Navarro was given the order to return dozens of records that he had claimed were his personal records and didn’t need to be given back to the government.

Many of the records in a 50-document sample of Navarro's alleged personal records, according to Kollar-Kotelly, were created in the months following the 2020 presidential election. In the final weeks of 2020, Navarro released a number of reports that supported Trump's assertions that the election was rigged by relying on allegations of voter fraud.

The judge disputed Navarro's assertions that some of the records in his possession were merely personal records he had written himself, saying it was obvious that Defendant still has access to Presidential records that have not been returned to their rightful owner, the United States.

Former President Bill Clinton's appointee Kollar-Kotelly wrote, “The mere fact that the material is a journal entry does not mean it is personal record.” The judge stated that even though the Presidential Records Act excludes diary or journal entries, the judge noted that the distinction between a presidential record and solitary records can depend on the covered employee's preparation of the material and his use of it.

To find out if there are any additional government documents among the 600 records, Kollar-Kotelly is giving Navarro until March 21 to review them. She added that she intends to have a magistrate judge look into the records to make sure the government gets any that it says should be sent back to the National Archives.

Although the Bureau of Prisons has not specified a specific date for Navarro's arrival, he is already scheduled to report to federal prison for defying a House Jan. 6 committee subpoena. After giving Navarro a four-month prison sentence in January, Judge Amit Mehta rejected his attempts earlier this month to stay free while he appealed his conviction.

Source: Washington Examiner



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