Former President Donald Trump told former White House adviser Peter Navarro “to protect executive privilege” in response to being subpoenaed by House Democrats investigating the Trump administration’s pandemic response.
“The Communist Democrats are engaging in yet another Witch Hunt, this time going after my Administration’s unprecedented and incredible coronavirus response, despite the fact that, sadly, more Americans have died this year from Covid than in all of 2020,” Trump said in a statement.
“I’m telling Peter Navarro to protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments. The Witch Hunts must end!”
Navarro didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
The Democrat-led House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis issued a subpoena (pdf) to Navarro on Nov. 18, seeking “all documents and communications in your possession … related to your involvement in the federal government’s response to the coronavirus.”
Navarro served as the director of trade and manufacturing policy under Trump. As part of the Trump administration’s response to the CCP virus pandemic, he took on a role coordinating Defense Production Act policy. Trump had invoked the Defense Production Act to compel certain manufacturers to produce ventilators, an effort that successfully met the needs of U.S. hospitals and produced enough of a surplus to lend ventilators to other nations.
In a memo to the members of the COVID-19 subcommittee members, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) faults Trump and Navarro for delegating the procurement of critical supplies to the states rather than implementing a centralized procurement system at the federal level. Clyburn said that strategy led “to severe shortages of critically needed supplies.”
“Mr. Navarro has refused to voluntarily comply with the Select Subcommittee’s requests—ignoring repeated attempts to gain his voluntary compliance and otherwise failing to communicate with Select Subcommittee staff,” Clyburn wrote. “Given his central role in the pandemic response, the importance of the Select Subcommittee’s investigation, and his continued refusal to cooperate voluntarily, this subpoena is necessary.”
Navarro responded to the subpoena with a statement on Twitter, saying he planned to send copies of his recently released book “In Trump Time: My Journal of America’s Plague Year” to the subcommittee.
“This is yet another Democrat witch hunt plain and shallow,” Navarro wrote. “In Trump Time documents my critical role in fighting a deadly pandemic from Communist China and illustrates the committee is (as usual) barking up the wrong tree.
“Suggest they ask Tony Fauci when he knew his dangerous gain of function experiments were the likely technology used by the Chinese to spawn the deadly virus President Trump and I had to fight.”