Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has refused to comply with a subpoena for documents related to the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus, saying the former president ordered him not to, according to his response to a congressional request released on Saturday.
The subpoena was issued in November by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as part of its probe of whether former Trump administration officials mishandled the federal response to the pandemic by interfering with its own health agency's work. Nearly 800,000 people have died in the United States from the pandemic.
Navarro, a Republican, also served as one of former President Donald Trump's pandemic response advisers and was responsible for procurement in the coronavirus response, among other things. Navarro said in a letter to the subcommittee he would not cooperate because Trump told him to "protect executive privilege."
"It is a direct order that I should not comply with the subpoena," Navarro said in a letter to the committee, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.