House Votes to Hold Trump Allies Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in Contempt of Congress

The House vote comes days after the committee investigating the 2021 Capitol riots urged lawmakers to hold the Trump White House officials — Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino — in contempt of Congress

Peter Navarro, Dan Scavino
Peter Navarro (left), Dan Scavino. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty; Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to hold two senior Trump White House officials — Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino — in contempt of Congress, after the two failed to comply with congressional subpoenas for records and testimony related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The 220-to-203 vote in favor of holding the two men in contempt will result in criminal referrals to the Justice Department, the Washington Post reports.

The Justice Department will then decide whether to charge Navarro, 72, and Scavino, 46, with misdemeanors that may result in as much as one year in prison and fines of up to $100,000, the outlet also said.

Navarro served in the Trump administration as the Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, and the national Defense Production Act policy coordinator. Scavino previously served as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for communications and as director of social media.

The House vote comes days after the bipartisan congressional committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots advanced the measure to hold the men in contempt, with Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson arguing that Scavino and Navarro "played a key role in the ex-President's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election."

Scavino, Thompson said, "strung us along for months before making it clear that he believes he's above the law." Navarro, he claimed, "also stonewalled us" — despite "sharing relevant details on TV and podcasts and in his own book."

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Both men have argued that the information requested by the committee is shielded by executive privilege.

The Democratic-controlled House passed both contempt motions Wednesday. The matter will now be in the hands of the Justice Department, which will determine whether to pursue criminal charges against Navarro and Scavino.

This is not the first time the House has voted to hold a former Trump official in contempt since the riots. Last November, the Justice Department announced that Steve Bannon — the former chief strategist at the White House — had been indicted by a federal grand jury on contempt of Congress charges.

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Like Navarro and Scavino, Bannon had failed to comply with a subpoena issued by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. His trial is set to begin later this year.

In December, the House voted to hold Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress, also for refusing to testify to investigators. The Justice Department has not yet taken action on the Meadows referral.

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