- Donald Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino were held in contempt of Congress.
- They refused to testify at the inquest on January 6.
- Trump insisted that the 2020 election be stolen.
The US House of Representatives has voted to hold two former advisers to former US President Donald Trump in criminal contempt for Congress for their refusal to comply with demands of a committee investigating the January 6, 2021 unrest at the United States Capitol.
The House voted 220 to 203 Wednesday night to send criminal charges against Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino to the U.S. Department of Justice, which will decide whether to prosecute them.
Any prosecution can drag on for months or years, but a conviction could result in a fine of up to $ 100,000 and one year in prison.
U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin said:
These two witnesses have acted with contempt for Congress and the American people.
Raskin is a member of the committee on January 6, which has questioned hundreds of witnesses during its nine-month investigation.
Navarro, 72, a former White House international trade adviser, was summoned in early February for his promotion of false allegations that the 2020 election was marked by voter fraud, which the committee believes contributed to the Capitol riot.
Dan Scavino speaks inside the empty Mellon Auditorium.
Scavino, 46, a senior communications assistant, was with Trump on the day of the January 6 attack and may have “material relevant to his video recordings and tweeting” messages that day, the committee said.
A bunch of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington DC in January last year in an attempt to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Shortly before the riot, Trump gave a fiery speech in which he urged his backers to “stop the theft”.
The House committee has summoned several former Trump aides and Trump administration officials in their efforts to understand what happened in the days leading up to and on January 6 and prevent a similar event from happening again.
But some have refused to follow it.
Many Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, have condemned the panel’s work. Only two Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for Wednesday’s proposal against Navarro and Scavino.
Peter Navarro speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House.
Before the vote, Representative Guy Reschenthaler challenged the legitimacy of the investigation and mocked the Democratic-led House’s action as “political theater,” while House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy accused the committee of “criminalizing dissent.”
In its summons to Scavino last September, the committee quoted reports that he was with Trump the day before the attack during a discussion on how to persuade members of Congress not to certify the election to Biden.
The House has previously voted to keep former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trump’s political adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for their refusal to answer questions to the committee on Jan. 6.
The dismissal of contempt against Bannon quickly resulted in a criminal indictment by the Justice Department, with a lawsuit set to begin in July. But the department has been slower in deciding whether to prosecute Meadows, much to the frustration of the committee.
“It is the committee’s hope that they will present it to a large jury,” Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the committee, told reporters Tuesday.
Lawmakers have interviewed dozens of individuals as they move closer to public hearings scheduled to begin later this month.
In recent days, the committee has conducted lengthy interviews with Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. Both were key advisers to the White House, which had significant access to the former president.
One person the committee has not yet approached to testify is former Vice President Mike Pence. Thompson said investigators may not need to speak directly to him.
Aides close to Pence have already testified before the panel, including his chief of staff, Marc Short, who was at the Capitol on January 6 and accompanied Pence as he fled his post as chairman of the Senate.
In the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol, Trump had publicly and privately pressured Pence to reject Biden’s election victory as part of his ceremonial role in overseeing the congressional election count, but Pence had rejected him, noting that he had no constitutional power to to change the selection. result.
Rebels storming the Capitol were outraged by Pence’s decision, and some called for him to be hanged as they broke the building.
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The US House holds Trump’s aides Navarro and Scavino in contempt in the January 6 investigation
Source link The US House holds Trump’s aides Navarro and Scavino in contempt in the January 6 investigation