NPR reports the U.S. House voted Wednesday to hold former Trump White House aides Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in criminal contempt of Congress after they defied subpoenas from the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
The move comes after the Democratic-led panel last month approved a contempt report against Navarro, the former trade adviser, and Scavino, a former deputy chief of staff.
The 220-203 floor vote, cast largely along party lines, triggers a series of steps to send the criminal referrals to the U.S. attorney’s office, leaving the Justice Department to decide whether it will pursue prosecution.
Congressman Tom Reed said in a weekly media call prior to the vote that he would not be supporting the vote. He said he voted for a bipartisan committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol and that’s not what was approved, “And once Speaker Pelosi elected not to recognize the Republican members that were elected to represent us on that committee, they went down this partisan path of the January 6 committee today. And as I look at this, that has contaminated this entire process and therefore I will not be supporting this sanction today.”
Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the only two Republicans appointed to serve on the select committee, were the only two from their party to vote for the referral.
Wednesday’s floor vote marks the third for a criminal contempt referral effort tied to the January 6 committee’s work. Previously, the House has approved criminal referrals for ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
So far, the Justice Department has only pursued prosecution for one of those cases, Bannon, who is now battling related criminal charges.
In each case, a subpoenaed witness could face up a year in jail for each contempt charge, plus fines of up to $1,000 each.