On Monday evening, the House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol voted unanimously to recommend criminal charges for former Donald Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino for refusing to obey subpoenas to testify before Congress about their involvement in the insurrection, CNN reports.
During the session, the members of the panel voiced their frustration with Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice on Monday for slow-walking the prosecution of Trump associates who are refusing to obey congressional subpoenas.
As noted by CNN, “the message to Garland and DOJ, which has still not said whether it will pursue criminal charges against former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for defying a congressional subpoena, was clear: Do your job.”
“This committee is doing its job. The Department of Justice needs to do theirs,” committee member Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, said during Monday’s business meeting. The panel voted to recommend Trump White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Trump’s onetime trade adviser, Peter Navarro, for criminal contempt charges for their refusal to cooperate with the committee’s investigation or appear for a scheduled deposition.
Virginia Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria said that “the Department of Justice must act swiftly,” adding, “I will echo what my colleagues have already said, but more bluntly: Attorney General Garland, do your job — so that we can do ours.”
That message to DOJ was only amplified by committee Chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, casting the committee’s probe as a struggle for the future of democracy. Referencing the ongoing invasion of Ukraine in her opening remarks, Cheney warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions remind “us what happens when authoritarians rule.”
The panel’s vote Monday night on Scavino and Navarro came after the committee filed reports Sunday night outlining the ways in which both men evaded investigators. The referrals head next to the full House for a vote, where House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has committed to bringing them forward “as soon as the schedule permits.”
The recommendation also comes after the Biden White House declined a request from Scavino and Navarro to shield them from the subpoenas using “executive privilege.”