According to a source familiar with the notification, US Attorney Matt Graves told House General Counsel Doug Letter that the Justice Department had completed its review and decided that it “will not pursue criminal contempt prosecution as requested in the referral.” Messrs. Meadows and Scavino. “The New York Times first reported the news that Mark Meadows, former chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump, and Dan Scavino, former deputy chief of staff to Trump, will not be prosecuted. The decision by the Justice Department comes as a blow to the efforts of the House panel to enforce subpoenas related to his investigation and could encourage other Trump officials facing similar requests not to cooperate.It comes on the same day that former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro charged with failing to cooperate with the committee.
However, unlike Scavino and Meadows, Navarro openly resisted the committee’s request and made no attempt to negotiate terms of compliance. And Meadows and Scavino’s subpoenas were complicated.
Both officers served in senior positions in the Trump West Wing and therefore had more compelling reasons for claiming executive privileges. Each also sought to cooperate with the committee at various points in their investigation. Meadows notably turned over thousands of pages of documents, including text messages, that have become an important part of the committee’s work.
Scavino’s attorney, Stan Brand, welcomed the decision in a statement to CNN, saying, “I am grateful that they (the Department of Justice) have exercised their discretion not to bring this case.”
A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment. A spokesman for the Jan. 6 special 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 hired the committee and that unlike Navarro and Steve Bannon, who were both indicted, Scavino and Meadows had serious claims to privilege.
Navarro – who faces two charges: one for his failure to produce documents requested by the committee and the other for failing to appear for a subpoenaed testimony before House investigators – is the second former Trump adviser to be charged with criminal contempt of Congress for defying a Jan. 6 subpoena from the committee. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon faces criminal prosecution this summer.
The Justice Department has come under pressure from House Democrats and others on the left for failing to be more aggressive in its Jan. 6 investigation, particularly regarding the role Trump and his inner circle played in trying to overthrow the 2020 presidential election and unfounded allegations of mass voter fraud that fueled the violent attack on the US Capitol.
However, there was recent evidence that the department has stepped up its investigation into a plan to submit fraudulent lists of Trump-supporting voters in states won by President Joe Biden.
This story was updated with additional details on Friday.