The U.S. House of Representatives approved “contempt of Congress” charges on Wednesday against two former aides to Donald Trump — Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino — for failing to cooperate with the probe into the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Navarro, who was a top trade adviser to the former president, and Scavino, who was a deputy chief of staff, did not comply with subpoenas to appear before the House Select Committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. House members backed the charges against the two men with a 220-203 vote; it now refers the matter to the Department of Justice for a decision on whether to press criminal charges.
Scavino and Navarro have argued that their communications are protected by executive privilege, although many legal experts have said that principle does not apply to former presidents. Contempt of Congress bears a penalty of up to a year’s imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000.
The Democratic-led Select Committee has been investigating events leading to the Capitol attack by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, when Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers gathered to certify Democrat Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election.
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