Former White House aide Peter Navarro on April 4 said that the move to indict President Donald Trump and his allies is “a crossing the Rubicon kind of event” for Democrats.
Navarro made the comments during an appearance on NTD. Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Alvin Bragg, who is leading the case against Trump, is poised to release the list of charges against Trump on the afternoon of April 4.
Trump is accused of making a “hush money” payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election. Daniels claims the two had an affair in 2006, a charge that Trump denies. Further, the charges against Trump are considered misdemeanors past the statute of limitations that Bragg has elevated to a felony.
During his appearance on NTD, Navarro suggested that the charges were so unjust that moving ahead with the indictment constitutes “a crossing the Rubicon kind of event” for Trump’s enemies.
“It’s pure persecution that stems from the clear weaponization of our government for partisan purposes,” Navarro said when asked his opinion on the issue.
“This is unprecedented,” Navarro said. “Today is a very historic day in the sense that they’ve really gone too far.”
A key aspect of Navarro’s comments focused on the U.S. legal principle of executive privilege.
Navarro is under federal investigation for contempt of Congress due to his refusal to appear before the Jan. 6 panel during the last Congress. Like other Trump advisers, Navarro has claimed that executive privilege protected him from cooperating with the probe. Executive privilege is a U.S. legal tradition whereby the president is immune to specific congressional inquiries and subpoenas because he is the commander-in-chief and key national security figure.
Navarro still faces criminal proceedings for alleged contempt of Congress and faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
“[Trump] is the first president in our history of our republic to ever be indicted on a criminal charge,” Navarro said. “I myself am the first senior White House adviser and alter ego to the President ever to be charged with contempt of Congress. So these are like crossing the Rubicon kind of events.”
Navarro denounced Biden’s effort to strip Trump and his advisers of executive privilege as part of the larger weaponization of the federal government.
“Executive privilege … is something that goes back to the days of George Washington,” Navarro said. “It’s an institution in this country designed to enhance effective executive decision-making by ensuring the separation of powers, and of course, Biden has attacked that one head-on.”
Specifically, Biden has attempted to retroactively withdraw the claims of Trump and his aides using executive privilege.
During the interview, Navarro was asked what concerns he has about the effort to undermine the doctrine of executive privilege.
“I want to again reiterate what executive privilege means,” Navarro replied. “The word ‘privilege’ has kind of got a sketchy connotation these days, the way it’s been bandied about by the woke left, but executive privilege, again, goes back to George Washington.”
Navarro explained, “When [Washington] was president, he noticed that the legislative branch, that is, Congress, was trying to encroach upon the executive branch’s responsibilities. So the principle of separation of powers says that the President himself and his top advisors, who are treated identical to the president … have this executive privilege, meaning that they cannot be subpoenaed by Congress to testify or provide documents.”
The move to strip Trump and his advisers of executive privilege marks a sharp departure from previous Department of Justice (DOJ) policy, Navarro said. For over 50 years, the DOJ has worked on the assumption of complete testimonial immunity for the president and his advisors.
During the last Congress, however, Navarro and former Trump aide Steve Bannon were indicted for contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 panel.
“There’s no precedent, there’s no case law, there’s nothing, not a zip” to justify the change, Navarro said. “It’s a ridiculous kind of thing, but for me, it was the tell in the whole case because it revealed the true partisan nature of it.”
During the interview, Navarro expressed concern that protests following the release of charges could be sabotaged by agent provocateurs working with the FBI, DOJ, or Antifa.
“I’m very concerned, in both New York and in Mar-a-Lago, that there will be agent provocateurs, Antifa, BLM, maybe even FBI informants trying to provoke a crowd to violence because one of the Democrats spins—for example, in the Jan. 6 thing—is that somehow we’re extremists and we incite violence,” Navarro said.
He cited reporting by Revolver News’ Darren Beattie that showed conclusively that FBI informants were in the crowd on Jan. 6. In the past, the FBI has evaded questions by Congress about its level of involvement during the Jan. 6 protest.
“If anybody tries to incite violence, take their picture, and let’s find out whether they’re there, whether they’re in Antifa, BLM, or the FBI,” Navarro said.
Many Republicans have expressed concern about protests taking a violent turn following the announcement of charges against Trump.
Article cross-posted from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times.