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January 6th Committee report suggests Mark Meadows may have flipped on Donald Trump after all

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When the January 6th Committee referred Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro to the Department of Justice for prosecution for contempt of Congress, the DOJ promptly indicted them; Bannon has since been sentenced to prison and is appealing, while Navarro is still awaiting trial. But when the committee referred Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for prosecution on the same charge, the DOJ waited a long time and then stated that it wouldn’t be charging them for contempt at this time.

This raised questions about why. Clearly, the DOJ isn’t afraid to indict people for contempt of Congress in general. So why were Meadows and Scavino at least temporarily let off the contempt hook? Some speculated that it was because they had provided substantial but incomplete cooperation, and that might have made it more difficult for the DOJ to get a conviction at trial. This was opposed to Bannon and Navarro, who provided no cooperation with the committee at all.

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But now the January 6th Committee’s executive summary has revealed an interesting tidbit. The language in the report reveals that the committee thinks Meadows and Scavino may have avoided being criminally charged because they’re cooperating with the DOJ against Donald Trump. As legal expert Andrew Weissman notes, this same language reveals that the committee doesn’t know whether Meadows is cooperating with the DOJ – but does seem to suspect that he is.


It’s important to understand the distinction here. Meadows and Scavino failed to fully cooperate with the January 6th Committee. But if they have since gone on to fully cooperate with the DOJ, this would mean that the DOJ has two key inside witnesses for nailing Donald Trump on election-related charges. This would sharply increase the odds of Trump being convicted at his eventual criminal trial.

In general the DOJ tries to avoid publicly revealing this kind of cooperation for as long as possible, largely to strategically keep criminal targets from knowing who’s flipped on them until it’s too late for them to do anything about it. So if Meadows and/or Scavino have flipped on Trump, the DOJ isn’t likely to let it be known until Trump is indicted.

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