DOJ Sparks Outrage With New Decision

Photo by Tabrez Syed on Unsplash

The DOJ stood down.

The recent decision by the Department of Justice to only pursue Contempt of Congress charges against Peter Navarro, but forego charging former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and deputy communications director Dan Scavino is sending a mixed message about the extent those in the former President’s inner circle can flout lawmakers subpoenas.

Last week the DOJ sent a letter to the House stating it wouldn’t be pursuing contempt charges against Meadows and Scavino, a decision that has many wishing the Justice Department would be more transparent with its rationale.

David Janovsky, an analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, expressed disappointment with the discrepancies, “I think it’s a disappointing decision by the Justice Department, and without understanding how they reach that decision, it leaves a lot of really troubling questions unanswered.”

U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, in a letter to the House, rationalized the DOJ decision saying, “Each referral has been analyzed individually based on the facts and circumstances of the alleged contempt developed through my office’s investigation.”

But following confirmation that the DOJ wouldn’t be pursuing charges against Scavino and Meadows, the Jan. 6 Panel called the decision “puzzling,” saying that Meadow’s executive privilege was still being litigated and requesting that the DOJ provide “greater clarity on this matter.”

Scavino and Meadows had different approaches.

Meadows turned over some documents to the committee, which included 2,319 text messages, before reneging on his scheduled deposition and filing suit against the committee. The panel used Meadow’s materials to subpoena others.

However, the committee acknowledged in a spring report that Scavino “has not produced a single document, nor has he appeared for testimony.”

Discussing the contrasting decision by the DOJ, Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor, noted that it appeared the Department of Justice was giving “partial cooperation” credit when making its decision on whether or not to pursue charges.