On Thursday, a federal judge ordered that Peter Navarro, former President Trump’s trade advisor, needs to hand in hundreds of emails from a personal encrypted account that he had been using while serving in the White House.
The Justice Department previously sued Navarro for access to his Proton Mail account in August, after he had previously refused to hand the emails over without a “grant of immunity.” According to the requests made, Navarro will have to turn over any records that date back to his time serving former President Trump. The records must be returned as part of the Presidential Records Act (PRA), which includes all records sent or received from both official and unofficial accounts.
Navarro’s attorneys have already found that around 200 to 250 emails would qualify to become part of the presidential records following the Department of Justice’s request. Still, Navarro had been unwilling to hand those records in.
In Thursday’s opinion, District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected all of the arguments made by Navarro’s team about the reasons he thought the emails from his personal account should not be handed over. Among the arguments Navarro made were: that PRA does not oblige him to return presidential records, and that there is no specific mechanism for the return making everything “vague and unsettled.”
However, Judge Kollar-Kotelly determined that “these arguments ignore or contravene the statute’s purpose, framework, and provisions.”