- The Jan. 6 House panel seeks information from Navarro on efforts to delay election certification.
- Committee requests information from Scavino on Trump’s activities, social media posts.
- Committee vote could send resolution to entire House, Justice Department for possible criminal charges
WASHINGTON- House committee investigates Capitol attack voted on Monday to urge the entire House to find Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino, aides to former President Donald Trump, in contempt for defying subpoenas and to urge the Ministry of Justice to charge them criminally.
Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Scavino shackled the panel for months before refusing to testify. Navarro also abstained, despite sharing details in his book and in TV interviews, Thompson said.
“In short, these two men were key to the ex-president’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election,” Thompson said.
The resolution now goes to the Plenary Assembly.
The department is already prosecuting former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and is considering indicting former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Navarro, former business advisor, declined to testify, citing executive privilege to keep communications with Trump confidential. In his 2021 book “In Trump Time,” Navarro described the plan to delay certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election as the “Green Bay Sweep” and said it was the “last and best chance to snatch an election stolen from the Democrats”. ‘ the jaws of deception.
Navarro said in a later interview that Trump “agreed with the strategy,” according to the committee. The panel requests documents on the plan and testimony.
Navarro responded in an email on Feb. 28 and a letter on March 1 that he would not cooperate unless Trump waived executive privilege.
The Supreme Court refused in January to block the release of Trump documents by the National Archives and Records Administration, despite Trump’s claims to executive privilege. Lower courts ruled that Biden’s waiver of privilege for the inquiry as sitting president prevailed over Trump’s request.
Earlier this month, Biden declined to back Navarro’s claim of privilege.
“This is America and there is no executive privilege here for presidents let alone business advisers to plan coups and stage insurgencies against popular government and the American Constitution and then cover up evidence of their crimes,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. “The courts don’t buy it and neither do we.”
Committee member Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-California, said Navarro reportedly led a call with state lawmakers on Jan. 2, 2021, as part of an effort to persuade Pence to delay certification of the ‘election.
“Among the many questions we have for Mr. Navarro, we need to hear him talk about this conversation, this phone call,” Aguilar said.
Scavino, a former deputy chief of staff, spread false information about voter fraud and helped recruit crowds in Washington for Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021. After the rally, a crowd of Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol, where 140 police officers were injured. and the counting of Electoral College votes temporarily halted.
The committee asks Scavino for information on Trump’s activities leading up to the riot and on social media posts that day.
Scavino’s attorneys, Stan Brand and Stanley Woodward, called the committee’s demands “prosecuting tactics” that exemplify “a pattern and practice of intimidation and disregard for the rule of law.”
Lawyers said Scavino’s papers should be available from the National Archives. But they said his testimony could still fall under executive privilege, an issue they say went unresolved in Trump’s Supreme Court case.
Committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Scavino managed Trump’s social media accounts and monitored domestic violent extremists. Lawmakers want to ask Scavino about his interactions with Trump.
“They knew the Jan. 6 crowd could get violent,” Kinzinger said.