The Lawfare Podcast: Catching Up with the Jan. 6 Contempt of Congress Cases

Jen Patja, Quinta Jurecic, Jonathan Shaub, Michael Stern
Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

In the course of the Jan. 6 investigation, Congress has voted to hold four Trump associates in contempt and refer them to the Justice Department for prosecution over their failure to comply with subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee. Steve Bannon was recently found guilty of contempt. One case, that of Peter Navarro, is still moving forward in criminal court. But the Justice Department declined to charge former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and aide Dan Scavino. Why? A recent filing by the Justice Department in civil litigation brought by Meadows may have some answers.

To discuss, Quinta Jurecic sat down with Jonathan David Shaub, a contributing editor to Lawfare and an assistant professor of law at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, and Mike Stern, former senior counsel to the House of Representatives. They talked about where the various cases stand and why, and what to make of the Justice Department’s filing spelling out its understanding of the doctrine of testimonial immunity for close presidential advisors. 

You can read Jonathan’s take on the filing (with Rohini Kurup) here, and Mike’s here.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Jonathan Shaub is a contributing editor to Lawfare and an assistant professor of Law at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law. He formerly served in the U.S. Department of Justice as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel and as a Bristow Fellow in the Solicitor General's Office.
Michael Stern is an attorney who specializes in legal issues affecting Congress and the legislative process, including congressional ethics, elections, investigations, lobbying and constitutional reform. He served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004. He later served as Deputy Staff Director for Investigations for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Special Counsel to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has co-chaired the D.C. Bar’s Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section and served on the ABA Task Force on Lobbying Reform and the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. He blogs about congressional legal issues at and is currently teaching a course on congressional oversight at the George Washington University School of Political Management.

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