Rep. Hoyer: Contempt Charges Vote Against Ex-Trump Aides Coming Next Week
House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By Jason Clemons | Wednesday, 30 March 2022 06:45 PM
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters on Wednesday that a House floor vote on contempt of Congress charges against two aides to former President Donald Trump will occur next week.
But the exact voting date involving the fates of Peter Navarro, Trump's former economic and trade adviser, and Dan Scavino, Trump's former deputy chief of staff for communications, has yet to be determined.
The initial contempt of Congress charges were advanced on Monday after neither Navarro nor Scavino reportedly provided documentation to the select Jan. 6 Committee, or even showed up to give depositions.
In the wake of being subpoenaed for the Jan. 6 committee hearings, both Navarro and Scavino have cited executive privilege as their reason for skipping the sessions.
According to The Hill, the House panel is seeking out Scavino to learn about his conversations with then-President Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol riot.
"It's important to note that even if a President has formally invoked executive privilege regarding testimony of a witness — which is not the case here — that witness has the obligation to sit down under oath and assert the privilege question by question. But these witnesses didn’t even bother to show up," said committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
"Second, even if the ex-President had a legitimate claim to executive privilege, this is a privilege that applies to things that happened in an official capacity. So, if Mr. Scavino and Mr. Navarro are claiming that all the information they have is protected by executive privilege, they're basically saying that everything they did, they did in their official roles. Paid by the taxpayers," Thompson added.
Regarding Navarro, the House panel wants to explore any possible connections with former Trump/White House strategist Steve Bannon, involving the latter's claims of systemic voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election between Trump and current President Joe Biden.
There are constitutional questions of how much power the Jan. 6 committee has in these proceedings.
Citing the Quinn v. United States case from 1955, the Supreme Court ostensibly ruled that members of Congress were prohibited from conducting separate or parallel criminal investigations, in hopes of uncovering political crimes committed by private citizens.
Also, the partisan Jan. 6 committee is made up of seven Democrats and only two Republicans; and both GOP members — Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. — have been outspoken critics of former President Trump for years.
- Rep. Cheney: Jan. 6 Panel Will Reveal New Information, Suggest Legislation Penalties
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