The DOJ refuses to accuse Meadows and Scavino of contempt of Congress

According to a source familiar with the notification, U.S. Attorney Matt Graves notified the House Attorney General Doug Letter that the Justice Department had completed its review and had decided that “it will not initiate prosecution for criminal contempt. , as requested in the referral against Messrs. Meadows and Scavino. ” The New York Times first reported that Mark Meadows, a former chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump, and Dan Scavino, a former deputy chief of Trump, will not be prosecuted. The Justice Department’s decision is a blow to the House panel’s efforts to enforce citations related to its investigation and could encourage other Trump associates facing similar requests not to cooperate. It comes the same day that former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was accused of not cooperating with the committee.

Unlike Scavino and Meadows, however, Navarro openly challenged the committee’s request and made no attempt to negotiate the terms to meet them. And the quotes from Meadows and Scavino were complicated.

Both officials held high-level positions in Trump’s west wing, and therefore had more compelling cases to claim the executive’s privilege. Each also made an effort to cooperate with the committee at different points in their investigation. In particular, Meadows delivered thousands of pages of documents, including text messages that have become an important part of the committee’s work.

Scavino’s attorney, Stan Brand, applauded the decision in a statement to CNN, saying, “I’m grateful that (the Justice Department) has exercised its discretion in not filing this case.”

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment. A spokesman for the Jan. 6 select committee did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

A lawyer familiar with the Meadows and Scavino cases told CNN that they were not surprised by the Justice Department’s decision. They argued that both men had hired the committee and that, unlike Navarro and Steve Bannon, who have been charged, Scavino and Meadows had serious claims of privilege.

Navarro, who faces two charges of contempt: one for failing to present the documents required by the committee and the other for failing to appear for a testimony cited before House investigators, is Trump’s second ex-adviser charged with criminal contempt in Congress. to challenge a January 6 committee summons. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon will face a criminal trial later this summer.

The Justice Department has been pressured by House Democrats and others on the left not to be more aggressive in its Jan. 6 investigation, especially with regard to the role played by Trump and the his inner circle to try to annul the 2020 presidential election and to make it unfounded. accusations of mass electoral fraud that drove the violent assault on the United States Capitol.

However, there have been recent indications that the department has stepped up its investigation into a plan to present fraudulent voter lists supporting Trump in states where President Joe Biden won.

This story has been updated with additional details on Friday.

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