July 14, 2024

The recent U.S. House vote to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt and the subsequent “No, thank you” by the Department of Justice he heads in response has invited renewed scrutiny over the plight of similarly situated individuals — in particular, former Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon. 

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After DOJ Declines to Prosecute Garland, House Vows to Take Biden Audio Issue to Court

Department of Justice to Speaker Johnson: No Prosecution of Merrick Garland for Contempt of Congress


Following the DOJ’s declination of prosecution as to Garland, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced that they’d see the DOJ in court, noting

“It is sadly predictable that the Biden Administration’s Justice Department will not prosecute Garland for defying congressional subpoenas even though the department aggressively prosecuted Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro for the same thing. This is yet another example of the two-tiered system of justice brought to us by the Biden Administration.”

Navarro is currently sitting in prison, and Bannon is set to begin serving a four-month sentence on July 1, both for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas and subsequently being held in contempt for it. 


NEW: Supreme Court Denies Peter Navarro’s Bid for Release From Prison Pending His Appeal

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Steve Bannon’s Contempt of Congress Conviction, Former WH Aide Faces Prison


Now, GOP House members have taken further action in relation to the seeming double standard. As laid out by Representative Eric Burlison (R-MO) in this tweet thread, the House has introduced a measure aimed at rescinding the subpoenas directed to Navarro and Bannon, as well as Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, and withdrawing the recommendations to hold them in contempt of Congress. 

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The resolution, H.Res. 1305, introduced on Tuesday and referred to the Rules Committee and Judiciary Committee, is titled “Rescinding the subpoenas issued by the January 6th Select Committee on September 23, 2021, October 6, 2021, and February 9, 2022, and withdrawing the recommendations finding Stephen K. Bannon, Mark Randall Meadows, Daniel Scavino, Jr., and Peter K. Navarro in contempt of Congress.”

As Burlison notes in his tweet thread, the J6 Committee was procedurally flawed from the outset: 

The Committee was used as a political weapon with a singular focus on taking down Trump and his advisors through the intentional manipulation of facts and the silencing of the minority party.

Thus

The subpoenas issued by the illegitimate Committee for Bannon, Navarro, Scavino, and Meadows were insufficient and should be rescinded, and the contempt of Congress referrals based on those subpoenas should be withdrawn.

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The measure has 23 cosponsors in addition to Burlison. Whether it will go anywhere, and just how far, in a fractious House with a razor-thin GOP majority remains to be seen. Probably best not to hold one’s breath on that. Still, it’s an intriguing move. 

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