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Trump aide Peter Navarro indicted, vows retribution
A sealed indictment, an interview, an arrest
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They can hear you
For the first time, a Trump White House aide who served during the insurrection has been indicted.
That’s a big deal.
The charges hit one of Trump’s most controversial aides, Peter Navarro, who has been one of the loudest advocates of the plot to overthrow the election (in a coup, or “sweep”). Navarro also just got hit with a grand jury subpoena, a development that the New York Times reported as:
…the latest sign the Justice Department’s investigation into the attack has moved beyond the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol. The subpoena [for] Navarro is the first known to have been issued — in connection to the department’s Jan. 6 investigations — to someone who worked in the Trump White House.
So the DOJ is eyeing Navarro as a possible link between the criminal insurrection at the Capitol and plotting inside Trump’s White House.
Navarro did not appear to be on the radar of Congress or DOJ in January, when he first detailed his plan to overthrow the election in an interview on The Beat. Neither had requested his testimony.
Now he faces subpoenas from both, and this new indictment for defying Congress, which came down Friday. For a legal case, five months is fast for that kind of shift.
Prosecutors had submitted the charges Thursday under seal, so Navarro was already under indictment, without his knowledge, when he joined me Thursday.
Prosecutors had determined he was criminally defying a lawful request, and that he was a risk for fleeing and tampering so they would execute a surprise arrest. Navarro thought he was still in negotiations, telling me the new subpoena requested “documents, broadly construed, that the January 6 committee asked for,” adding, “I’m in negotiations, discussions with them, about that.”
Navarro also expounded on an apparent threat in a new civil suit he filed.
If Republicans win back control of government, he vowed, he will “lead the charge” to impeach Biden and weaponize investigations against opponents:
I will take Adam Schiff and Jamie Raskin and Nancy Pelosi … all of those clowns and kangaroos… I will push as hard as I can to use the same B.S. the Democrats are using now — to try to put me in prison for standing up for principle. If they want to play that game, we’ll play it right back. They’ll hit us, we hit them back harder!
Threatening opponents with government retribution is obviously unethical, and was considered “out of bounds” for public remarks before Trump. (It has happened in U.S. history, of course, but few leaders would admit it or “preview” it. To the contrary, from McCarthy to Hoover, the standard move was to insist such investigations were legitimate, or for national security, etc.)
The issues here are larger than Navarro. And while he’s garnered some attention for his voluble style, that’s not why federal prosecutors are demanding his evidence. It’s because they have reason to believe he, and possibly other Trump officials, were involved in a crime linked to a criminal insurrection and attempted coup. Period.
Watch the full Peter Navarro interview via MSNBC.
The Jan. 6 Committee is coming to prime time, literally. Its first evening hearing is this Thursday, and here’s how MSNBC is covering it (all times ET):
A legal edition of The Beat at 6pm, previewing the hearing.
MSNBC special coverage begins at 7pm, with the hearing starting at 8pm.
MSNBC special coverage continues with analysis when the hearing gavels out.
We prefer that you watch our coverage, but objectively, it’s also notable that many networks will carry the hearings live. People tuning in for “Law and Order,” for example, will find it preempted for the hearing. So the committee’s work may be exposed to a far larger portion of the nation.
Now, will you watch the hearings live? Do you think they will change people’s minds about any of this, or do you think views have hardened? Tell me in the comments and I will reply…