Former Trump advisers Dan Scavino and Mark Meadows will not be criminally charged for contempt regarding their refusal to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, the Department of Justice revealed this week, a move that comes even as another former Trump aide is facing prosecution on those same grounds.
Former Trump official Peter Navarro was indicted by a grand jury on Friday for his refusal to cooperate with the committee, which is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol that Democrats and media have insisted was an “insurrection” against the U.S. government.
Yet the Justice Department on Friday told Douglas N. Letter, the general counsel of the House of Representatives, that it would not be bringing similar charges against Scavino and Meadows for their own refusal to cooperate.
“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,” Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote to Letter “My office’s review of each of the contempt referrals arising from the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation is complete.”
Committee leaders, meanwhile, expressed puzzlement over the Justice Department’s decision.
“We find the decision to reward Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for their continued attack on the rule of law puzzling,” Reps. Liz Cheney and Bennie Thompson wrote in a statement following the 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 Jan. 6,” they added.