Two Former Trump Aides Held in Contempt of Congress; First Jan. 6 Acquittal

Former Trump advisers Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro were held in contempt of Congress and a January 6 defendant was acquitted of all charges for the first time.


Former Trump advisers Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro were held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the House Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot. Also on Wednesday, a January 6 defendant was acquitted of all charges for the first time.

  • Congress voted largely along party lines, 220-203, to hold both men in contempt of Congress and send criminal referrals to the Justice Department for prosecution.
  • Scavino and Navarro are the third and fourth former Trump officials to be referred for prosecution for refusing to testify, after Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows.
  • Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter, testified before the committee for eight hours on Tuesday.
  • Meanwhile, a federal judge acquitted a New Mexico man of four misdemeanor charges of illegally entering the Capitol and engaging in disorderly conduct, saying prosecutors failed to prove their case against Matthew Martin.
  • The judge, Trevor McFadden, ruled it was not unreasonable for Martin to believe police allowed him to enter the Capitol. The judge found Martin “largely credible,” and video footage shown at trial seemed to confirm his claims. Martin is the first January 6 defendant to be acquitted.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times’ coverage focused extensively on the floor debate over the two referrals and included background information on Peter Navarro’s role in former president Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
  • The Washington Post detailed the House January 6 Committee’s frustrations with what they see as the Justice Department delaying prosecution on their previous criminal referral for former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.
  • CNN provided more background on Dan Scavino, who helped run Trump’s Twitter account and his position as one of Trump’s oldest and closest advisers.



  • The Washington Examiner highlighted how Navarro and Scavino’s own behavior – Navarro’s memoir and Scavino’s social media posts – contributed to the scrutiny they’ve received from the House January 6 Committee.
  • The Daily Wire interviewed Alan Dershowitz, who called the first January 6 acquittal “enormously important” and said “if that’s the rule, we will win.”
  • The Wall Street Journal provided background on the legal issues at dispute between Scavino and Navarro and the committee.

On Your Radar

  • The New York Times: Sarah Lawrence cult leader Larry Ray convicted of trafficking and extortion.
  • The Washington Post: Liberal media critic Eric Boehlert died in a bicycle accident. RIP.
  • Fox News: FBI disrupts Russian military hackers in thousands of hardware devices, preventing botnet amid Ukraine war.
  • ABC News: Euthanized Capitol Hill fox that bit 9 people tests positive for rabies.
  • CNN: NBC News journalists vexed by MSNBC’s move to hire White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
  • National Review: The ‘groomer’ accusation that “has become the fashionable charge to level against anyone who opposes Florida’s parent-rights bill” is counterproductive.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022