DOJ declines to press contempt of Congress charges against Meadows and Scavino
The Jan. 6 committee found the decision "puzzling," a statement read.
The Department of Justice will not be prosecuting former Trump officials, chief of staff Mark Meadows and social media director Dan Scavino, for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, according to sources familiar with the correspondence.
The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol previously voted in December 2021 to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress for not appearing before the committee and a criminal referral was sent to the Department of Justice. Meadows provided the committee with over 9,000 records and emails in regards to his activities and communications with former President Trump surrounding the riot but then refused to cooperate further and give a deposition.
The House voted to hold Scavino and former Trump adviser Peter Navarro in contempt in April after they refused to comply with a subpoena to testify before the Jan. 6 committee.
Navarro was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday on two counts of contempt to Congress.
The New York Times first reported that the DOJ would not be pursuing charges against Meadows and Scavino.
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), the chairman of the House Select committee investigating the attack, and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) released the following statement on Friday evening. They declared that the indictment of Navarro was the “correct decision,” by the DOJ but did not agree with not pursuing charges against Meadows and Scavino.
“We find the decision to reward Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for their continued attack on the rule of law puzzling. 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 Department provides greater clarity on this matter,” the statement read.
“If the Department’s position is that either or both of these men have absolute immunity from appearing before Congress because of their former positions in the Trump Administration, that question is the focus of pending litigation. As the Select Committee has argued in District Court, Mark Meadows’s claim that he is entitled to absolute immunity is not correct or justified based on the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel Memoranda. No one is above the law.”
Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.