The Department of Justice will not prosecute two of former President Donald Trump’s top White House officials, Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, after the Democrat-led January 6 Committee pursued contempt of Congress charges against them.
“Based on the individual facts and circumstances of their alleged contempt, my office will not be initiating prosecutions for criminal contempt as requested in the referral against Messrs. Meadows and Scavino,” U.S. attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves wrote, according to a letter obtained by the New York Times.
The Democrat-controlled House voted in April mostly on partisan lines to hold Scavino and former White House economic adviser Peter Navarro in contempt of Congress. The resolution claimed they were in contempt for their “refusal to comply with subpoenas duly issued by” the January 6 Committee, a lopsided investigatory panel consisting of seven Democrats and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The same vote against Meadows took place in December and against former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon in October.
The votes effectively referred the four Trump allies to the Justice Department for prosecution. Bannon was indicted in November and has a court date set for July.
Navarro was indicted Friday, the same day the department’s letter about Meadows and Scavino was revealed.
Both Bannon and Navarro were charged with two counts of contempt involving a “refusal to appear for a deposition” and a “refusal to produce documents” in response to the January 6 Committee’s subpoenas.
Both Meadows and Scavino, who will not be indicted, “engaged in weeks of negotiations with the committee’s lawyers,” per the Times, and Meadows in particular produced more than 9,000 documents for the committee before House Democrats, along with Cheney and Kinzinger, voted to hold them in contempt.
The committee expressed frustration toward the Justice Department about Meadows and Scavino, saying in a statement it found the “decision to reward” them “for their continued attack on the rule of law puzzling” and that it was now hoping for the department to provide “greater clarity” on its decision.
Mr. Meadows and Mr. Scavino unquestionably have relevant knowledge about President Trump’s role in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the events of January 6th. We hope the Justice Department provides greater clarity on this matter.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 4, 2022
Navarro, who is suing the January 6 Committee — which he maintains is illegitimate — confirmed on Friday that despite previously indicating he would cooperate with the FBI, the bureau arrested him at the airport. Navarro said he was placed in “handcuffs” and “leg chains” and that he was put in a prison cell formerly occupied by John Hinckley Jr., a recently released attempted assassin of President Ronald Reagan.
Navarro spoke to reporters outside a courthouse Friday after the arrest, saying, “Congress has the right to investigate but only for nonpunitive legislative purposes. What that kangaroo committee is doing right now is investigating for punitive purposes. They’re essentially acting as judge, jury, and executioner.”
LIVE: Former Trump adviser Navarro appears in D.C. court after indictment https://t.co/G5JPkLAejv
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 3, 2022
Navarro plans to represent himself in his case rather than use a lawyer.