The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising welcomes a court ruling charging former President Donald Trump with multiple crimes while issuing its own criminal contempt charges against two Trump associates.
On Monday, a federal judge ruled that Trump “more than likely committed multiple federal crimes” in his attempt to void the 2020 election. After the ruling, the committee fired former Trump aides Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino to the Department of Justice on criminal contempt charges after refusing to testify.
The panel voted 9-0 to dismiss criminal charges for the couple after they sullied subpoenas demanding they testify and turn over documents relevant to the Capitol attack.
The recommendation for criminal charges now goes to the Full House where, if approved, will be sent to the Department of Justice, which has the final say on prosecution.
Navarro served as White House trade adviser under Trump and promoted false allegations of voter fraud in 2020, which the select committee said contributed to the attack, according to The Associated Press.
Scavino was in charge of Trump’s social media and communications strategy. The committee alleges that Scavino was with Trump the day before the Jan. 6 attack, during a discussion about how to persuade members of Congress not to certify the election of current President Joe Biden.
“Mr. Scavino also tracked social media on behalf of President Trump, and he did so at a time when sites allegedly frequented by Mr. Scavino suggested the possibility of violence on January 6,” according to a report by 34 pages published by the committee. on Sunday.
“The Select Committee therefore has reason to believe that Mr. Scavino may have been warned in advance of the potential for violence on January 6.”
Navarro and Scavino cited “executive privilege” as a reason for not cooperating, according to the report.
“They potentially played a role in an attack on American democracy, but they can ignore our investigation because they were working for the government at the time. That’s their argument,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson said. “They are not deceiving anyone. They are obligated to comply with our investigation. They refused to do so. And that is a crime.”
U.S. District Judge David Carter said Trump “most likely committed multiple federal crimes in his attempt to void the election.”
The judge’s decision marked a major legal victory for the select committee to obtain important documents, including emails from Trump adviser John Eastman.
Newsweek contacted Navarro and Scavino for comment.