Judge slaps down former Trump adviser's latest legal stall tactic
Peter Navarro (Photo via AFP)

Former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro attempted to stall a judge's order last week to hand over roughly 200 to 250 documents that are rightfully the property of the National Archives.

But Senior U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has just rejected his stall tactic by ruling he must comply with the Presidential Records Act, reports POLITICO's Kyle Cheney.

In particular, the judge smacked down claims made by Navarro that the case against him was supposedly unprecedented.

"If this is a case of first impression, as he contends in seeking a stay ... it is only because, unlike his many thousands of public servant predecessors, Dr. Navarro is apparently the first to steadfastly refuse to comply," wrote Kollar-Kotelly.

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This comes after the Justice Department dismantled Navarro's argument in a blistering filing.

"Defendant argues that the United States, and thus the public, is only 'minimally affected' by Dr. Navarro retaining the presidential records he admittedly has until 'Dr. Navarro's rights are ensured as protected,'" said that filing. "But Defendant has never explained how his rights are affected by returning the records, and the public interest plainly lies in ensuring that the historical record of the prior administration is complete."

In addition to the records issue, Navarro was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress last June for his blanket refusal to cooperate with House investigators probing the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Investigators had subpoenaed him, citing reports that Navarro worked with Trump strategist Steve Bannon to "develop and implement a plan to delay Congress’s certification, and ultimately change the outcome, of ... the November 2020 presidential election.”

Navarro filed a motion to dismiss that case in January, arguing he was protected by virtue of executive privilege. District Judge Amit Mehta denied the motion, as Navarro did not provide any evidence to support that assertion.