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House asks Justice Department to criminally prosecute former Trump aides Navarro and Scavino for snubbing Jan. 6 committee


Peter Navarro is White House’s trade advisor and listens as he discusses a presidential order relating specifically to military veterans. This was taken in Washington on March 4, 2019, by the White House West Wing.

Reuters| Reuters

Wednesday’s House of Representatives vote to refer two former Trump aides to the Justice Department in criminal contempt of Congress.

Only two Republicans voted in support of the referral and it passed with a 220-203 vote. Contrenchment of Congress can result in a one-year sentence and a fine of up to $100,000.

Scavino and Navarro declined subpoenas issued by the House Jan.6 committee for Scavino to testify or turn over documents related to the attack on Capitol last year that interrupted the 2020 electoral vote count in a joint session.

The committee said that Navarro was a Trump trade adviser and Scavino served as White House deputy head of staff.

The panel noted that Navarro had publicly boasted of plans to overturn the 2020 elections results, and published a book last ye in which he called the plan the “Green Bay Sweep.”

The committee subpoenaed Scavino last year, as he was the man who managed then-President Donald Trump’s social media. Scavino, the panel stated, worked alongside Trump in his “campaign for reversing the election results.” This included spreading fake information on social media about alleged election fraud as well as recruiting crowds to Washington for January 6th.

According to a committee report, Scavino and Navarro cited “executive privilege” in their reasons for refusing cooperation with the panel. President Joe Biden, however, has waived that privilege.

Navarro stated that his position was correct in a statement made after the committee voted for the contempt referral being sent to the House.

The Select Committee’s witchhunt is based on the absurd legal assumption that Joe Biden could waive Donald Trump’s Executive Privilege. The Supreme Court will say otherwise when the time comes — as it surely must — and the DOJ knows such nonsense would gut Executive Privilege and the critical role it plays in effective presidential decision making,” Navarro said then.

Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Leader, stated before the vote that the committee “criminalized dissent” and claimed the subpoena given to Scavino was too broad.

“Democrats threaten to put in prison a man who has done nothing but try to obey the law because he is President Trump’s close aide. McCarthy declared that Mr. Scavino did not merit it.

The House has already voted in favor of criminal referrals for two other officials who defied the panel’s subpoenas — former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Bannon’s recommendation was followed by the Justice Department. it does not always do. Bannon was charged two counts of contempt and could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine if he is convicted. The trial is set for July. He has already pleaded guilty.

However, the Justice Department hasn’t acted. Meadows referral, which passed the House in December.