The House voted 220-203 to recommend criminal contempt charges against former Trump administration officials Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino for defying subpoenas from the Jan. 6 Select Committee. The resolution’s passage refers contempt charges against Navarro and Scavino to the Justice Department.
Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), both of whom serve on the Jan. 6 Select Committee, were the only Republicans to vote for the contempt resolution.
The vote comes two days after the House Rules Committee voted along party lines to advance the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s contempt referrals of the former Trump White House officials to the full House.
In his remarks during debate on the contempt resolution, Jan. 6 Select Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) argued that it was “not conceivable” for Navarro and Scavino’s efforts to carry out former President Trump’s Big Lie to have “legally overlapped with their official duties.”
“But beyond that, it was a betrayal of the oath these men took,” Thompson said in floor remarks. “It was a betrayal of the public trust. Even if you do it on your own time, trying to overturn an election is still trying to overturn an election.”
Cheney, who serves as the vice chair of the Jan. 6 Select Committee, stressed in floor remarks prior to the contempt vote that the panel would have preferred Navarro and Scavino’s compliance with their subpoenas. Cheney said the committee was left with no choice but to refer contempt charges against them.
“When you hear my colleagues attack the Select Committee, remember Mr. Scavino and Mr. Navarro have chosen not to appear,” Cheney said. “They did not have to make this choice, but they did.”
House Republicans repeatedly defended the former Trump officials’ executive privilege claims during debate on the resolution.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) used his time on the floor to air a series of GOP grievances, which included complaints about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejecting two of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) picks to serve on what would have been a bipartisan commission investigating the events of Jan. 6. Pelosi at the time said Reps. Jordan and Jim Banks (R-IN) were unfit to serve on the committee for their efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election as Trump’s loyal foot soldiers.
Additionally, Jordan’s remarks touched on GOP complaints of the so-called “border crisis,” high gas prices, as well as fear-mongering about crime levels in major cities and inflation.
“This committee has more contempt resolutions for a purely political reason,” Jordan said. “I think the whole committee is purely political, designed to do one thing: keep President Trump off the ballot in 2024.”
Navarro and Scavino’s contempt referrals follow other contempt votes for former Trump White House officials Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows that passed the House.
Thus far, Bannon is the sole Trumpworld figure who has been charged with contempt of Congress after defying subpoenas by the Committee. Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial is set for July.