Justice Department rejects indictment of Meadows and Scavino of contempt of Congress

According to a source familiar with the notification, US Attorney Matt Graves notified Doug Leiter, the House General Counsel, that the Department of Justice has completed its review and has determined that it “will not pursue criminal contempt prosecutions, as required in the referral against Messrs. Meadows and Scavino.”
The New York Times first reported the news that Mark Meadows, then-President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, and Dan Scavino, Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, had not been impeached.
The Justice Department’s decision is a blow to the House committee’s efforts to enforce subpoenas related to its investigations and could encourage other Trump associates facing similar requests not to cooperate. It comes on the same day that former White House trade advisor Peter Navarro was cited for failing to cooperate with the commission.

Unlike Scavino and Meadows, Navarro publicly specified the commission’s request and made no attempt to negotiate terms for compliance. The subpoenas for Meadows and Scavino were complex.

Both officials served in senior positions in Trump’s West Wing, and thus had more compelling cases to claim executive privilege. Both also made an effort to cooperate with the Commission on various points in its investigations. Meadows privately handed over thousands of pages of documents, including text messages that became an important part of the commission’s work.

Stan Brand, Scavino’s attorney, applauded the decision in a statement to CNN, saying, “I am grateful that (the Department of Justice) exercised their discretion not to bring this case.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice declined to comment. A spokesperson for the January 6 select committee did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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

Navarro — who faces two contempt charges: one for failing to produce documents demanded by the committee and one for failing to testify before House investigators — is the second former Trump adviser to be charged with criminal contempt of Congress. To challenge the committee’s January 6 subpoena. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon faces a criminal trial later this summer.

The Department of Justice has been under pressure from House Democrats and others on the left for not taking more aggressive action in the January 6 investigation, particularly regarding the role Trump and his inner circle played in seeking to nullify the 2020 presidential election and render it unfounded. Accusations of mass voter fraud that led to the violent attack on the US Capitol.

However, there have been recent indications that the department has stepped up its investigation into a scheme to provide fraudulent lists of pro-Trump voters in states won by President Joe Biden.

This story was updated with additional details on Friday.

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