The Office of the White House Legal Counsel advised former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday that President Joe Biden would not support claims of executive privilege to prevent them from testifying before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol.
“President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the national interest, and therefore is not warranted, with respect to particular matters within the purview of the select committee,” a letter said. addressed to Flynn’s attorney by Deputy White House Counsel Jonathan Su. . A similar letter was sent to Navarro. The letters were first reported by Axios.
Navarro responded with an email saying, “Mr. Biden is not the president I worked for. Donald Trump is. It is fanciful and dangerous to assert that a sitting president can revoke the executive privilege of his predecessor. Navarro added in the email to the White House from Biden, “See you at the Supreme Court.”
Flynn’s attorney, David Warrington, could not be reached for comment. But Axios reported that Warrington responded to White House counsel saying his client did not claim executive privilege, nor refused to appear for deposition by the Jan. 6 committee.
Biden’s decision is just the latest in a series of disagreements with his predecessor over claiming executive privilege.
Last year, Biden rejected a similar claim by Trump regarding other White House documents requested by the Jan. 6 committee. Trump tried unsuccessfully to block the release of those records in court. In February, Biden ordered that the publication of logs of White House visitors during Trump’s tenure be turned over to the committee, over Trump’s objections.
Navarro, who was subpoenaed in early February, joined a long list of Trump advisers who cited the former president’s claim of executive privilege as a reason not to participate in the committee’s investigation. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sought to withhold some testimony, citing executive privilege. The panel voted to cite Meadows in contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate.
Stephen Bannon also claimed the privilege, raising the question – which also applies to Flynn – whether executive privilege could extend to a former adviser now outside government. The Justice Department charged Bannon with contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the panel.
In his response Monday to the White House legal counsel’s office, Navarro brushed off the Jan. 6 investigation and White House Biden.
“You and the Biden regime, along with the partisan judges and the witch hunt otherwise known as the January 6 Committee, are doing great violence to the Constitution and the country,” he wrote.
Josh Dawsey and Jacqueline Alemany of The Washington Post contributed to this report.