Justice Department declines to prosecute former Trump chief of staff and deputy

Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino will not face criminal charges for refusing to honor subpoenas issued by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

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WASHINGTON — Justice Department officials said Friday that prosecutors would not file criminal contempt of Congress charges against Mark Meadows, who served as White House chief of staff during former President Donald Trump’s last 10 months in office.
The department also declined to prosecute Dan Scavino, who was deputy chief of staff, the DOJ officials said.

The decisions were a defeat for the House committee investigating the Capitol riot. After both Trump officials refused to honor the panel’s subpoenas, the committee found them in contempt of Congress and referred the cases to the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., for prosecution.
But even if prosecutors had charged them and obtained convictions, it would not have required them to cooperate with the committee. It would simply have punished them for their refusal.

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A senior Justice Department official said the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Matthew Graves, notified the committee of its conclusions. The decisions were based “on the individual facts and circumstances of their alleged contempt,” according to the official.
Meadows was “uniquely situated to provide critical information about the events of January 6,” the committee said in seeking his cooperation, as well as efforts taken by public officials and private individuals to spread the false message of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. He was “with or in the vicinity of” Trump when word of the riot at the Capitol reached the White House, it said.
In a statement, Stan Brand, an attorney for Scavino, said: “We are grateful the DOJ exercised sound judgment in deciding not to prosecute this case given the substantial flaws in the legal basis of the committee’s subpoena and the issues of executive privilege presented.”
“The result speaks for itself,” said George Terwilliger, an attorney for Meadows.

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