Jan. 6 Panel to Seek Criminal Prosecution for Trump Advisers Peter Navarro, Dan Scavino
© AP Photo / Alex BrandonWhite House trade adviser Peter Navarro speaks with reporters at the White House, June 18, 2020, in Washington. The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has set a vote for next week to consider contempt of Congress charges for two aides of former President Donald Trump. The committee will meet Monday to discuss whether to recommend referring for potential prosecution Trump’s former trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and Dan Scavino, the onetime chief of staff for communications.
© AP Photo / Alex Brandon
The House Select Committee probing the US Capitol riot previously issued subpoenas calling for testimony from Trump-era trade adviser Peter Navarro and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino. Navarro, who received the writ last month, panned the 9-member panel as “terrorists” conducting a “partisan witch hunt.”
A vote will be held on Monday to decide whether former trade adviser Peter Navarro and longtime Trump aide Dan Scavino should be recommended for criminal contempt of Congress after refusing to appear before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol.
The vote is scheduled to take place at approximately 7:30 p.m., local time, according to the 9-member panel comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans.
Navarro has been increasingly vocal in his complaint against the probe, most recently dubbing it an “unprecedented partisan assault on executive privilege”- a defense that is regularly referenced by former US President Donald Trump, despite judicial disagreement.
“If President Trump waives the privilege, I would be happy to testify,” Navarro claimed. “It is premature for the committee to pursue criminal charges against an individual of the highest rank within the White House for whom executive privilege undeniably applies.”
The Trump-era trade adviser’s recent memoir claims that he and former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who had since left his administration role, assisted in coordinating the “Green Bay Sweep” - a 2020 plan to halt the certification of Electoral College votes that also appeared to implicate Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill,” Navarro told the Daily Beast. “We didn’t even need any protesters, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”
5 January 2022, 16:24 GMT
While Navarro received the panel’s subpoena last month, Scavino was among the first wave of subpoenas issued by the committee in September 2021. The disparity in dates may signal that the committee is losing faith in more individuals coming forward.
Scavino, a longtime ally and former social media manager of Trump, has been less vocal and more litigious about his opposition to the panel’s subpoena.
In January, Scavino filed a lawsuit against Verizon in an attempt to block the transmission of phone records to the House Select Committee--a move that came after US District Judge Beryl A. Howell blocked Scavino's initial request to use a pseudonym in the filing. The former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications’ relationship with the former US president dates back to when he was Trump’s golf caddy.
© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikWhite House social media director Dan Scavino, right, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, left, walk to board Marine One with President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, before leaving for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then onto Pittsburgh for a campaign rally.
White House social media director Dan Scavino, right, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, left, walk to board Marine One with President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, before leaving for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then onto Pittsburgh for a campaign rally.
© AP Photo / Andrew Harnik
The 9-member panel lacks the authority to directly charge individuals with crimes, but is permitted to submit a recommendation of potential offenses to the full House of Representatives, where lawmakers vote on whether to refer the charge to the US Department of Justice.
With more than 90 public subpoenas issued, the committee has approved criminal contempt referrals for Steve Bannon, ex-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
However, the DoJ has only pursued charges against Bannon, who was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress on November 12. One charge related to his refusal to appear for deposition, while the second offense is tied to the ex-White House strategist’s refusal to produce relevant documents.
12 November 2021, 20:58 GMT
Bannon, who has been a private citizen since his 2017 exit from the White House, pleaded not guilty. However, Navarro’s recent memoir may further implicate the strategist.
Each count carries jail time, ranging from a minimum of 30 days to a maximum of one year behind bars, as well as a fine of $100 to $100,000. Bannon is set to appear before US District Judge Carl Nichols on July 18.
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