Former Trump Administration Trade Official Peter Navarro predicted today on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox News show “Morning Futures” that there will be at least three indictments coming forth from the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel John Durham with regard to the Trump-Russia hoax perpetrated by the Obama Administration officials beginning in the summer of 2016 in an effort to help Hillary Clinton try to get elected in spite of her mishandling of classified information.
My initial reaction was that Navarro occupied a position in the Trump Administration that wouldn’t have afforded him access to this kind of “inside information” with regard to the status of a closely-held criminal investigation. At the same time, however, his background and portfolio of responsibilities made him one of only a limited number of people who were part of the true inner circle of the Trump White House. He was one of only a handful of individuals who were brought into the Administration who held trade and economic policies — regardless of party affiliation — which tracked closely with those of President Trump, whose views were not based on partisan political affiliation.
Navarro has described himself historically as a registered Democrat, and a supporter of the Clinton-Gore Administration, and a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008. He ran for office in California as a Democrat several times and was endorsed by Hillary Clinton. He claims to hold progressive views on many social issues.
But he is also towards the extreme populist edge on economic and trade policy as a nationalist and protectionist who is opposed to trade deficits and multilateral trade deals. He joined the Trump Campaign as an economic adviser based on the nationalist and protectionist trade and foreign policy ideals advanced by Trump during the GOP primaries. He’s staunchly anti-China on trade and foreign policy matters, both of which became central to Trump’s first term.
After Trump’s election, Navarro was appointed as Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy within the White House.
As more and more of Trump’s early advisers and cabinet secretaries fell by the wayside over falling outs with Pres. Trump about policy, Navarro’s influence inside the White House increased. With support from President Trump, Navarro was able to have a significant influence on trade and economic policy, especially with regard to China.
Bartiromo pressed Navarro on his prediction of three indictments from Durham, and his answer was a bit deflating. He told her that his prediction was based on the reporting earlier this week by John Solomon with respect to the release of additional FBI internal documents on the activities of FBI informant Stefan Halper in the summer of 2016 to target individual Trump campaign members in order to locate one who might be working with the Russians to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.
I did not write on Solomon’s reporting earlier in the week simply out of a lack of time. This article isn’t meant to be a meaningful commentary on everything revealed in the Halper documents that Solomon published. But I will say that there was a lot less surprising to me in those documents than seemed to be the case with the rest of the media.
Early on in any investigation the agents and prosecutors are going to go over what they know, what they think they know, what they don’t know, and if they have any sources to tap that might provide more information on the issue under scrutiny. All Halper’s pre-Crossfire Hurricane associations with various people in the Trump campaign have been reviewed and directed. The only real “approach” he made to anyone he did not otherwise know was Papadopolous. The information the FBI sought from Halper and the taskings they gave Halper to go back and meet with Trump campaign officials he knew is pretty unremarkable in my view if you start with the premise that they thought they were searching for a human link between the Trump campaign and the Russians — without regard for the fooked-up process that led them to that search.
I’m not sure Navarro’s “bomblet” is as meaningful as it sounded when he first made it. But it is impossible to dismiss his prediction altogether given his “insider” status in the true inner circle of the Trump White House.
There is a reason why Durham took the appointment from Barr as Special Counsel and has remained in place now for almost 40 days since the Biden Administration came into office.