Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro has been accused of refusing to cooperate with a Congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
But the Justice Department saved two other advisers, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, from criminal prosecution.
The department’s decision not to prosecute Meadows and Dan Scavino, another adviser to former President Donald Trump, was revealed in a letter sent Friday by a federal prosecutor to a House attorney.
The measure was reported hours after Navarro’s indictment and a subsequent and arduous appearance in court in which he pledged to challenge charges of contempt in Congress.
The boom in activity comes just days before the House Committee, which is leading the investigation into the riots at the Capitol, held a hearing at prime time with the aim of presenting evidence to the American public on how to developed the assault.
The split decisions show how the Justice Department has chosen to assess on a case-by-case basis the contempt references it has received from Congress rather than automatically filing charges against each and every Trump aide who has resisted congressional summonses.
The committee’s leaders called the decision not to prosecute Meadows and Scavino “baffled.”
Although the Justice Department has sent several Trump aides for possible prosecution for refusing to cooperate, Navarro is only the second to face criminal charges following the indictment of the former House adviser last fall. Blanca Steve Bannon.
Navarro, 72, was charged with felony criminal mischief for failing to appear for a statement before the House committee and a second charge for failing to submit documents requested by the committee.
During an initial court appearance, he alleged that the Justice Department had committed “tax misconduct” and said he had been told he could not contact anyone after an FBI agent approached him on Friday. the airport and impose it.
He said he was arrested while trying to board a flight to Nashville, Tennessee, for a television appearance.
“Who are these people? This is not America, “Navarro said.” I was a distinguished public servant for four years! “
Each charge carries a minimum sentence of one month in prison and a maximum of one year behind bars.
Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland had faced pressure to act more quickly to decide whether to prosecute other Trump aides who have similarly challenged House panel summonses.
The New York Times first reported the decision not to prosecute Messrs. Meadows and Scavino, with a person familiar with the decision not being allowed to discuss it publicly confirmed it to The Associated Press on Friday.