US House riot panel makes case for contempt charges for 2 former Trump aides - GulfToday

US House riot panel makes case for contempt charges against 2 former Trump aides


Pro-Trump protesters storm the US Capitol during clashes with police in Washington. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol voted unanimously Monday night to seek "contempt of Congress" charges against Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to ex-President Donald Trump, and Daniel Scavino, who was a Trump deputy chief of staff.

The committee made their case that Navarro, former President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, and Scavino, a White House communications aide under Trump, have been uncooperative in the congressional probe into the deadly 2021 insurrection and as a result, are in contempt.


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The seven Democratic and two Republican members of the House of Representatives Select Committee approved a report recommending the criminal charges against Navarro and Scavino by a 9-0 vote, sending the matter for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

Bennie Thompson leads the US House Select Committee to probe the January 6 attack. Reuters

"They’re not fooling anybody. They are obligated to comply with our investigation. They have refused to do so. And that’s a crime,” Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s Democratic chairman, said in his opening remarks.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he planned a vote in the full chamber as soon as possible. Approval by the House would pave the way for potential criminal charges by the US Department of Justice.

The committee won a victory in federal court on Monday when a judge ruled that Trump "more likely than not" committed a felony by trying to pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to obstruct Congress and overturn his election defeat.

Daniel Scavino (left) and Peter Navarro. File/AP

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

"They are obligated to comply with our investigation. They have refused to do so. And that's a crime," Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee's Democratic chair, said as he urged a vote in favor of contempt.

Trump repeated his false claim at a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, 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 on the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer who fought with rioters died the next day. Hundreds of police were injured during the onslaught. Four officers have since taken their own lives.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally for Georgia in Commerce on Saturday. AP

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

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

Republican Representative Liz Cheney, the Select Committee's vice chair, noted that more than a dozen former Trump White House officials have been among the hundreds of witnesses who have testified to the committee.

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

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

Scavino was subpoenaed in September. The committee said he was a witness to Trump's activities on the day of the assault.


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