Two more Donald Trump aides—Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino—are facing criminal charges after the House held them in contempt for defying summons issued by a January 6 select committee. had voted for.
In a 220-203 vote on Wednesday, the House voted to refer Navarro, a former White House business adviser and former deputy chief of staff for communications Scavino, to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for possible prosecution.
If the DoJ decides to charge members of Trump’s inner circle, the pair faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
However, any potential prosecution could take several months or even years for the refusal to comply with the summons by the investigating panel on January 6, 2021.
So far, only former White House adviser Steve Bannon has been charged with contempt for defying his subpoena after the House referred him to the DOJ, whose trial is set to begin in July.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was also referred to face possible criminal charges, but the DOJ still hasn’t decided whether to charge a Trump aide, much to the dismay of a Jan. 6 panel. For.
Announcing that they would recommend contempt of Congress charges against Navarro and Scavino on March 28, representative Ellen Luria, a member of the panel, told Attorney General Merrick Garland to “do our job so we can do our job.” “
Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark was also referred to the DOJ on possible criminal charges, but he later complied with his subpoena and showed up for a statement. He reportedly pleaded more than 100 times for the fifth time in February, answering questions.
The panel issued a subpoena for Navarro after he publicly acknowledged, including in his book, that he was part of a team from Trump’s inner circle that was using “Green Bay” for the 2020 election. To put pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to stop the certification. Sweep” to describe the football analogy scheme.
Scavino was present with Trump during a January 5, 2021 meeting, where he reportedly discussed how to persuade members of Congress not to certify the election of Joe Biden.
He also tweeted messages from inside the White House on January 6, as well as messages of support for election protests, before crowds stormed the Capitol.
Representative Liz Cheney, the deputy chairman of the Jan. 6 panel, said on the floor of the House Wednesday that the committee would also like to talk to Scavino about his conversations on the Donald.win website, an offshoot from the banned Reddit community that — until now — said That right-wing extremists discussed attacking the Capitol.
Cheney said questions also needed to be asked about Scavino’s alleged online communications with supporters of the radical conspiracy movement QAnon.
Like Bannon, Navarro and Scavino cited executive privilege—a safeguard for the president to ensure that official interactions remain private—as their reasons for not handing over documents or providing information to the January 6 panel.
Trump had also invoked executive privilege in his efforts to withhold documents from the committee, but his efforts were rejected by the Supreme Court.
During the debate on the House floor, the chairman of the 6 January committee, Rep. Benny Thompson, said that Navarro and Scavino were trying to argue that “their role in trying to reverse the election was to remain secret” because they had official roles. Advisor to the former President.
“If they want to make those claims ridiculous—as they sound—here’s what the law requires: They need to show up and make those claims on record,” Thompson said. under oath.
“They refused to do so. That means they are in contempt of Congress.”