The House committee that investigated the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 voted unanimously in favor of holding former Trump advisors Peter Navarro, and Dan Scavino responsible for refusing to comply with subpoenas for months.
Monday night’s hearing concluded that Navarro (ex-President Donald Trump’s trade advisor) and Scavino (White House communications aide under Trump) were uncooperative during the congressional investigation into the fatal 2021 insurrection and are now in contempt.
“They are not fooling anyone. They have to cooperate with our investigation. They have refused to comply with our investigation. “And that’s a crime,” said Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson in his opening remarks.
Now, the recommendation for criminal charges goes to the full House. It is expected that it will be approved by the Democratic majority chamber. The Justice Department would then approve the charges. It has final say over prosecution.
The committee is continuing to expand its reach to Trump’s orbit as it enforces its subpoena powers. According to two sources familiar with the investigation, lawmakers are now planning to contact Virginia Thomas (also known as Ginni), the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. They will ask her about the text messages she sent to Mark Meadows, former White House Chief Of Staff, on the day of the attack.
The panel is still deciding what outreach Thomas will receive from the panel, as well as whether it will be in the form a subpoena, or a voluntary request for cooperation.
One person said that the committee will interview Jared Kushner (ex-Trump adviser and son in law) later this week.
Monday’s meeting saw lawmakers make another appeal to Attorney General Merrick Galrland. He has yet to decide if he will pursue the contempt charges that the House brought forward in December against Mark Meadows, former chief of staff to the White House.
Rep. Adam Schiff, who is a member, stated in his remarks that “We are upholding the responsibility.” “The Department of Justice should do the same.”
The circumstances surrounding Jan. 6th, when pro-Trump rioters invaded the Capitol, fueled in part by Republican’s false claims about a stolen election. This was to prevent Congress from certifying election results that showed Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump.
The House committee voted in favor of Trump’s request for information. A federal judge in California declared Monday that Trump attempted to halt the certification of 2020 elections. This was a major legal victory.
This argument was used by U.S. District Judge David Carter, a Clinton appointee. He ordered the release to the committee of more than 100 emails sent by Eastman.
Charles Burnham, Eastman’s attorney, stated Monday in a statement that his client is responsible for his attorney-client privilege. He also said that his lawsuit against the committee “seeks” to fulfill this responsibility.
Navarro, 72-year-old was subpoenaed for his testimony in February. The panel would like to question Trump’s ally, who in false claims of voter Fraud during the 2020 election and which the committee believes contributed to attack.
Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the committee, stated in a statement that Thompson has not been shy about his role as an attempt to reverse the results of the 2020 elections.
Although Navarro tried to avoid cooperating by using executive privilege, the Biden administration denied Scavino’s claims and Michael Flynn’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. They said that an assertion of executive privilege wasn’t justified or in the national interests.
Thursday’s committee vote was called “an unprecedented partisan attack on executive privilege” by Navarro, who stated, “The committee knows very well that President Trump invoked executive privilege, and it is not my privilege waive.”
Sunday night’s statement by Navarro stated that the committee should negotiate with President Trump.
The committee issued Scavino a subpoena last fall. It cited reports that Scavino was with Trump on the day prior to the attack, during a discussion about ways to persuade Congress members not to certify the election. He was also with Trump again that day and may have “materials relevant” to his tweeting and videotaping messages.
The committee stated that it has also reason to believe Scavino, 46, may have been warned about possible violence in January 6.
According to the committee, Scavino’s counsel and Scavino have been granted at least six extensions to comply to the subpoena.
The report stated that “despite all the extensions, to this date, Mr. Scavino have not produced any document nor appeared for testimony,”
Scavino’s lawyer did not respond to messages seeking comment.
After Trump’s longtime ally Steve Bannon defied a subpoena from Congress, the committee voted to refer contempt charges against Meadows and Meadows. Meadows had ceased cooperating with this panel. Both contempt referrals were approved by the full House.
Later Bannon was indicted by a federal Grand Jury. He is currently awaiting prosecution by Justice Department. Meadows has not been charged by the Justice Department.
Although the central facts of Jan. 6’s insurrection are well known, the committee hopes to fill in any remaining gaps. Lawmakers say they are committed in presenting an accounting so that it does not happen again.
The panel will examine every aspect of Trump’s riot, including Trump’s actions during it and any connections between Trump and the rioters who broke into Capitol Building.