Updated Mar 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 panel report makes contempt case against former Trump aides

 Combination images of Peter Navarro, left, and Dan Scavino. Photos: Nicholas Kamm/AFP, Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Peter Navarro (left) and Dan Scavino. Photos: Nicholas Kamm/AFP, Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot released a report Sunday night recommending former Trump aides Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino face contempt of Congress proceedings for failing to cooperate with subpoenas. 

Why it matters: This is the fourth time the panel has made such a recommendation in relation to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, a measure they turn to when hostile witnesses refuse to comply with their subpoenas, Axios' Andrew Solender notes.

Driving the news: The panel noted in its report that it had tried to accommodate Scavino by delaying his deposition six times since last September.

  • "Despite all these extensions, to date, Mr. Scavino has not produced a single document, nor has he appeared for testimony," the select committee wrote.
  • Navarro did not appear for a deposition earlier this month.
  • "Mr. Navarro had a brief exchange with Select Committee staff after accepting service of the subpoena and also made public comments indicating that he would not appear or provide documents as required by the subpoena," the report states.

Context: Scavino's subpoena cites his close proximity to then-President Trump on Jan. 5, 2021, as the White House strategized how to convince lawmakers to overturn the election, and during the attack on the Capitol, per Solender.

  • Navarro's subpoena alleges he strategized to "implement a plan to delay" Congress' certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The other side: Navarro told Axios last Thursday that the panel, which includes two Republicans, had launched an "unprecedented partisan assault on executive privilege" invoked by former President Trump.

  • Lawyers for Scavino have argued that President Biden doesn't have "authority to waive executive privilege over the testimony of a former president's senior aide," the New York Times notes.

Worth noting: Trump filed a lawsuit seeking to block the National Archives and Record Administration from releasing records to the Jan. 6 panel, arguing that to do so would "seriously cripple executive privilege."

  • But the Supreme Court last month left intact a lower court's decision that said while Trump could invoke executive privilege, the sitting president did not need to honor it.

What's next: The panel was due to hold a public vote on whether to recommend charges against Navarro and Scavino on Monday, per the NYT.

  • If the votes to recommend the charges, the Democratic-controlled House would then vote on whether to refer the matter to the Justice Department.

The big picture: The House voted last year to hold former White House strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt following the panel's recommendations.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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