Interest charge

US House Riot Committee recommends contempt charge for two other former Trump aides

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congressional Committee investigating the deadly January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol voted unanimously on Monday to file a “contempt of Congress” lawsuit against Peter Navarro, former trade adviser to ex-President Donald Trump and Daniel Scavino, who was Trump’s deputy chief of staff.

The seven Democratic and two Republican members of the House of Representatives Select Committee approved a report recommending the criminal charge against Navarro and Scavino by a vote of 9-0. There was no immediate word on when the entire Democratic-led House would vote to approve the resolution.

This would pave the way for possible criminal charges by the US Department of Justice.

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The committee scored a victory in federal court on Monday when a judge ruled that Trump “more likely than not” committed a crime by trying to pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to obstruct in Congress and reversed his electoral defeat.[nL2N2VV1K1[nL2N2VV1K1[nL2N2VV1K1[nL2N2VV1K1

Navarro and Scavino ignored repeated calls to appear before the committee or provide information to the panel about the events surrounding the attack.

“They’re obligated to comply with our investigation. They refused to do so. And that’s a crime,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democratic chair of the committee, urging a vote for contempt.

Trump repeated his false claim at a January 6, 2021 rally that his loss to Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 2020 election was the result of widespread fraud, and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol.

Four people died the day of the riot, and a Capitol police officer who fought with rioters died the following day. Hundreds of police were injured in the assault.

Four officers have since committed suicide.

Trump has urged his associates not to cooperate with the committee, calling the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated and arguing that his communications are protected by executive privilege, though many legal experts have said the legal principle does not apply. does not apply to former presidents.

The Biden administration has denied executive privilege to former Trump aides, saying it was not in the national interest.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the select committee, noted that more than a dozen former Trump White House officials were among the hundreds of witnesses who testified before the committee.

The committee said Feb. 9 that it had subpoenaed Navarro, a key player in Trump’s effort to reverse his election defeat.

Navarro has said in media interviews and in his book that he helped coordinate an effort to stop certification of Biden’s victory and keep Trump in power.

Scavino was subpoenaed in September. The committee said it witnessed Trump’s activities on the day of the assault. Read more

“These men, Mr. Scavino and Mr. Navarro, despise Congress. I encourage my colleagues to support the passage of this report. I am confident that the House will pass a resolution citing them for this crime. And I hope that The Justice Department will move quickly to hold them accountable,” Thompson said.

The House has already approved criminal remands for two other people who defied panel subpoenas — Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, and Mark Meadows, who was one of Trump’s chiefs of staff in the White House.

Bannon faces federal charges for refusing to cooperate with the committee and refusing to produce documents. He is to be tried in July.

The House voted on Meadows in December, but the Justice Department has yet to say whether it will take action.

(This story corrects to say charges have been recommended against Navarro and Scavino, removes reference to Meadows, second paragraph)

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler

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