The House committee investigating the January 6 US Capitol riots 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 Associated Press reported.
The committee made their case that Navarro, former President Donald 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,” said Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s Democratic chairman.
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.
The select committee has so far subpoenaed a host of Trump allies, including his former lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell.
The House has already voted to hold two Trump associates - former White House senior advisor Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows - in contempt of Congress for noncompliance with the subpoena.
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 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.”
Ahead of the committee’s vote, the panel scored a big legal victory in its quest for information from Trump lawyer John Eastman when a federal judge in California asserted that it is “more likely than not” that Trump committed crimes in his attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election.
With that argument, US District Court Judge David Carter ordered the release of more than 100 emails from Eastman to the committee.