Biden rejects executive privilege for ex-Trump advisers Flynn, Navarro
President Biden will not assert executive privilege to shield two former Trump advisers, Peter Navarro and Michael Flynn, from testifying or turning over relevant documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to correspondence shared with The Hill.
Deputy White House counsel Jonathan Su wrote letters to Navarro, who served as former President Trump’s trade adviser, and an attorney representing Michael Flynn, Trump’s onetime national security adviser, notifying them of Biden’s decision on Monday.
Biden’s decision was first reported by Axios.
In the letter to Navarro, Su reiterated that Biden believes an assertion of executive privilege is “not in the national interest” given the “unique and extraordinary nature of the matters under investigation.”
In the letter to Flynn’s attorney, David Warrington, Su noted that Flynn, who resigned in 2017 under pressure after less than a month on the job, left the White House long before the Capitol riot.
“To the extent any privileges could apply to General Flynn’s conversations with the former President or White House staff after the conclusion of his tenure, President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the national interest, and therefore is not justified, with respect to particular subjects within the purview of the Select Committee,” Su wrote.
However, Warrington wrote in a response to Su that Flynn has not made an assertion of executive privilege related to the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena and has not refused to appear for a deposition.
“I do not know whether your letter was prompted by some event, information received, a request by a third-party, or if it is simply the type of letter the White House Counsel’s Office is sending to all former Executive Branch employees who have received such a subpoena,” Flynn’s attorney wrote, according to a letter obtained by The Hill. “We certainly did not ask for such a letter.”
The panel subpoenaed Navarro, who served in the White House until the end of the Trump administration, last month. Navarro has pledged to fight the subpoena in court.
On Tuesday, Navarro provided The Hill with the email response he sent to Su. In it, Navarro asserted that it was “fanciful and dangerous to assert that a sitting president can revoke the Executive Privilege of his predecessor.”
“You and the Biden regime along with partisan judges and the witch hunt otherwise known as the Jan 6 committee are doing great violence to the Constitution and the country,” Navarro wrote in the message. “See you at the Supreme Court.”
The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Flynn along with a handful of other Trump associates in November.
Flynn was subpoenaed about a December meeting at the White House where they discussed using national emergency power to seize voting equipment.
Biden has previously rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege over White House documents the committee has requested from the former president’s tenure, most recently ordering the National Archives to turn over visitor logs to the Jan. 6 panel.
Trump pursued legal action to block the committee’s access to the documents, but the Supreme Court declined his request to block the documents and turned away his appeal last month.
Rebecca Beitsch contributed.
Updated: 12:27 p.m.