- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The House on Wednesday held two former Trump officials in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee.

The mostly party-line vote sent a recommendation to the Justice Department for charges against Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino once the order is signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro must be held accountable for their defiance of the law. They are in contempt of Congress, which is a crime,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat who chairs the Jan. 6 committee.

The resolution passed 220 to 203. Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the only GOP members on the committee, were the only Republicans to join Democrats as yes votes.

Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger are also the most vocal anti-Trump members of the House Republican Conference.

Otherwise, Republicans dubbed the contempt charges more of the political witch hunts to damage former President Donald Trump and his allies.

“I guarantee you that history will not look back kindly on these actions in years to come. It couldn’t be any more un-American, what they want to do today, to put two men behind bars because they disagree with their politics and the man that they worked for,” said Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Ms. Cheney accused her GOP colleagues who refused to support the measure of abandoning their oaths of office.

“Those in this chamber who continue to embrace the former president … ought to take a good hard look at themselves,” Ms. Cheney said. “They have abandoned their oaths in order to perform for Donald Trump. That will be their legacy.”

The Jan. 6 committee advanced the resolution earlier this month, accusing the two men of refusing to cooperate with their probe on how the riot occurred.

Mr. Navarro, a top trade adviser in the Trump White House, cited executive privilege in his conversations with Mr. Trump over his resistance to disclose detailed information to the members.

Mr. Scavino, a political adviser in the Trump White House, reportedly cooperated initially but then let six deadlines pass for a requested interview by the committee’s investigators.

The members of the committee disputed claims of executive privilege, saying that the protection does not extend to previous presidents.

The House previously held former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in contempt for his refusal to engage with the panel.

Mr. Bannon is awaiting a criminal trial this summer.

Mr. Trump‘s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was also held in contempt by Congress, though his recommended charges are still under review by the Justice Department.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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