Navarro, Scavino Cases Referred to DOJ After House Votes Them in Contempt

The House of Representatives voted to find Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino, two former aides of ex-President Donald Trump, in contempt for rebuffing subpoenas issued by the committee probing the January 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol. The two will now be referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

The resolution to charge the pair with criminal contempt passed 220-203 on Wednesday, with the only two Republicans on the January 6 House select committee—Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois—voting "yes," according to CNN.

Last week, the committee voted in favor of referring criminal charges for the pair after they defiled subpoenas demanding they testify and hand over documents relevant to the Capitol attack.

Navarro and Scavino have cited "executive privilege" as their reason for not complying with the committee's subpoenas.

Navarro served as a White House trade adviser under Trump and promoted false claims of voter fraud in 2020 that the committee believes contributed to the attack on the Capitol, according to court documents released by the committee.

Jan 6
The House found Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino, two former advisers of ex-President Donald Trump, in contempt for rejecting subpoenas from the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Above, committee members Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, speaks to GOP Representative Liz Cheney on Capitol Hill March 28, 2022. Getty

Scavino was in charge of the president's social media and communications strategies at the time. The committee alleges that Scavino was with Trump the day before the January 6 insurrection, during a discussion about how to persuade lawmakers not to certify the election.

"Mr. Scavino also tracked social media on behalf of President Trump, and he did so at a time when sites reportedly frequented by Mr. Scavino suggested the possibility of violence on January 6th," according to a report released by the House committee.

Republicans have blasted the investigation as a partisan "witch hunt" against the Trump administration. Before the ruling, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declared he would shut down the House committee if Republicans take back the majority.

"The January 6 Committee is a political show trial that tramples on civil rights and congressional norms," McCarthy tweeted. "When Republicans win back the House, this theater will STOP."

Members who voted for criminal contempt charges for Navarro and Scavino also took to social media, reiterating that the men are not above the law.

"Trump led a massive conspiracy to overturn the election and topple American democracy and trump[sic] toadies Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino are part of that crime," New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell said. "Anyone who obstructs Congress should be thrown in the slammer. These men are trying to tear down American democracy."

"Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro possess intimate knowledge of events leading up to Jan 6, yet have chosen to conceal it," California Representative Adam Schiff said. "Now, the DOJ must submit the matter to a grand jury—because the American people deserve accountability."

Last week, U.S. District Judge David Carter said that Trump "more likely than not committed multiple federal crimes in his attempt to overturn the election."

The judge's ruling marked a major legal win for the select committee to obtain potentially important documents, including emails from Trump advisors.