The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol voted unanimously Monday night to hold former Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in contempt of Congress for their monthslong refusal to comply with subpoenas, the AP reports. The committee made their case that Navarro, former President Trump’s trade adviser, and Scavino, a White House communications aide under Trump, have been uncooperative in the congressional probe into the deadly 2021 insurrection and as a result, are in contempt. “They’re not fooling anybody. They are obligated to comply with our investigation. They have refused to do so. And that’s a crime,” Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s Democratic chairman, said in his opening remarks.
The recommendation of criminal charges now goes to the full House, where it is likely to be approved by the Democratic-majority chamber. Approval there would then send the charges to the Justice Department, which has the final say on prosecution. At Monday's meeting, lawmakers made yet another appeal to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has not yet made a decision to pursue the contempt charges the House set forward in December on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. “We are upholding our responsibility,” Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the committee, said in his remarks. “The Department of Justice must do the same.”
Navarro called the committee vote “an unprecedented partisan assault on executive privilege," and said, ”The committee knows full well that President Trump has invoked executive privilege and it is not my privilege to waive.” In a statement Sunday night, Navarro said the committee “should negotiate this matter with President Trump.” He added, “If he waived the privilege, I will be happy to comply; but I see no effort by the Committee to clarify this matter with President Trump, which is bad faith and bad law.” A lawyer for Scavino did not return messages seeking comment. The House also previously voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt, and he is currently awaiting prosecution by the Justice Department.
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