Peter Navarro: Jan. 6 panel is 'Democrat-controlled mob' with 'weaponized' congressional powers
Because the committee does not have a ranking member, it cannot issue lawful subpoenas, the former Trump adviser argues.
Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro slammed the Jan. 6 committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol for acting as "judge, jury and executioner" and said he is standing up to their subpoena because they are trying to "coerce" him into doing things that he should not be forced to do.
"I am in the crosshairs of a Democrat-controlled mob that has weaponized the investigatory powers of Congress in a way which threatens, I think, a lot of what we hold dear in this republic," Navarro told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Wednesday, the day after he filed a lawsuit against a grand jury subpoena related to Jan. 6.
He called the House select panel a "Kangaroo committee." Former President Donald Trump would have cooperated with the original committee plan with an equal number of Republican and Democratic members approved by their respective caucuses, Navarro speculated. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two GOP selections for the panel and instead went on to form her own committee with seven Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans handpicked by the Democrats.
"It's a committee issuing illegal and unenforceable subpoenas because it violates the rules both of the House to issue subpoenas and its own authorizing resolution," Navarro told host John Solomon.
Because the committee does not have a ranking member, it cannot issue lawful subpoenas, he said.
Acting as his own attorney, Navarro challenged the grand jury subpoena by arguing that the Jan. 6 committee was "not duly authorized or properly constituted" and that it violates "separation of powers."
The Jan. 6 committee first subpoenaed Navarro in February to ask about his work on the 2020 election with former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon. He refused to cooperate with the subpoena at the time, citing concerns about executive privilege, which protects certain presidential information.
He noted that one of the "very unusual" aspects of the Jan. 6 subpoena is that "they specifically mentioned communications between myself and the president."
There is no legal precedent for a sitting president to strip a former president of executive privilege.
When Solomon asked Navarro whether he ever saw President Trump commit a crime in connection to Jan. 6, the former adviser responded by stressing that his conversations with the president are privileged.
"Whatever interactions I have with the president one way or the other is between me and the president," Navarro responded. "And I've always been consistent about that and no one should read anything into that answer."
If Democrats win the case against Navarro, it will "be a pure victory" for conservatives, he said.
"When the Republicans take back the House in 2022 and Trump's back in the White House in 2024, we're gonna play the same damn game," he stated. "I mean, they invite us to. We'll be subpoenaing them left and right, holding them in contempt. There'll be no protection of executive privilege.
"I don't want that. That's not good for the Republic, but that's what they're inviting in their kind of myopic quest to stop Trump."
The former White House adviser also defended his actions following the 2020 election.
"All we were trying to do is made sure only legal votes were counted," he said, adding, "I think the preponderance of evidence right now shows that the election was likely stolen."
Navarro said, "This is the most elaborate and sophisticated steal by the Democrats in our republic's history, but [a] steal that they likely did, and I think we need to get to the bottom of that."
State officials, including many in GOP-run states, have said they have found no evidence of widespread fraud in the November 2020 election that could have altered the outcome. However, several states have acknowledged that serious irregularities or unlawful changes to election rules occurred in 2020.
For example, Wisconsin's Supreme Court has ruled election regulators unlawfully allowed tens of thousands of absentee voters to skip voter ID checks by claiming they were "indefinitely confined" by the pandemic without suffering from a disability. And Wisconsin's legislative audit bureau found numerous other rule changes were made that were not approved by the state legislature. In Arizona, an audit called into question more than 50,000 ballots cast in the November 2020 election, while in Georgia, state election officials have uncovered such widespread mismanagement of vote counting in Fulton County, the state's largest, that they have begun a process to have the state run future elections in the locality, which includes the city of Atlanta.