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House January 6 committee subpoenas former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro

McConnell disagrees with RNC on Capital attack
Senator Mitch McConnell disagrees with Republican National Committee on January 6 riots 07:04

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday issued a subpoena for Peter Navarro, a former top White House trade adviser and ally of former President Trump who, the committee alleges, developed plans to change the outcome of the election.

The committee's chairman, Congressman Bennie Thompson, said lawmakers are seeking records and testimony from Navarro. Members of the committee say Navarro wrote in his book and gave interviews describing the plan to thwart the certification of the election results.

"Mr. Navarro appears to have information directly relevant to the Select Committee's investigation into the causes of the January 6th attack on the Capitol," Thompson said in a statement. "He hasn't been shy about his role in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and has even discussed the former President's support for those plans. More than 500 witnesses have provided information in our investigation, and we expect Mr. Navarro to do so as well." 

In the weeks leading up to January 6, Navarro promoted a document he called the "Navarro Report" that asserted baseless and discredited claims of election fraud. 

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro holds his notes after a television interview at the White House Monday, October 12, 2020, in Washington. Alex Brandon / AP

In a book published last year, Navarro wrote that he and other Trump advisors constructed a plan called the "Green Bay Sweep" as the "last, best chance to snatch a stolen election from the Democrats' jaws of deceit." 

He described the scheme, which was done in coordination with Steve Bannon, in interviews with The Daily Beast late last year and MSNBC last month. In his appearance on MSNBC, he told host Ari Melber that they had lined up "over 100" congressmen and senators to help challenge the election results in six battleground states that had been won by Joe Biden.

"These were the places where we believed that if the votes were sent back to those battleground states and looked at again, that there would be enough concern amongst the legislatures that most or all of those states would decertify the election. That would throw the election to the House of Representatives," Navarro said, arguing the plan was legal.

In a statement to CBS News, Navarro accused the January 6 committee of being "domestic terrorists" and called their efforts a "partisan witch hunt." He said that since Trump has invoked executive privilege, the committee should "negotiate any waiver of the privilege with the president and his attorneys directly, not through me."

Navarro became a household name amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when he became the policy coordinator of the Defense Production Act. The congressional committee investigating the Trump White House's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has also subpoenaed him for failing to respond to document requests. There were reports that Navarro wrote memos to the White House in January 2020 warning of the devastating impact COVID-19 could have on lives and the economy. Trump claimed during a coronavirus briefing in April 2020 that he had learned about those memos by reading about them in news reports. 

Navarro is the latest among dozens of Trump allies from whom the panel has sought testimony. 

Navarro's subpoena comes the same week that Sarah Matthews, a former White House deputy press secretary who resigned in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, testified voluntarily before the House January 6th Committee, a source familiar with the investigation told CBS News. 

Matthews was among more than a dozen cabinet secretaries, political appointees and staff who resigned after the assault on the Capitol, with many citing Mr. Trump's conduct that day. 

Thompson told reporters that two former press aides testified before the committee on Tuesday, with more depositions scheduled for later this week. The committee has interviewed more than 500 witnesses for their investigation, including Kayleigh McEnany, who was Mr. Trump's press secretary.

In addition to the hundreds of interviews already conducted, the committee has issued dozens of subpoenas, including ones to Trump's allies, former White House officials, campaign aides and individuals involved in the planning of the rally outside the White House before the Capitol building came under siege. Two top Trump allies, Bannon and Meadows, have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas, and the Justice Department has charged Bannon. Both said they are following instructions from Trump, who has claimed executive privilege.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the House select committee last year to investigate the January 6 attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step, affirming Mr. Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more.

Sara Cook and Zak Hudak contributed to this report.

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