Where is Dan Scavino? Jan 6 committee searching for Trump aide to serve subpoena
The House investigation into the January 6 insurrection appears to be hitting constant roadblocks, mostly from the Republican party. The latest setback involves Dan Scavino, who has reportedly gone missing and is evading attempts to be served his subpoena. Scavino was one of the several Trump loyalists to be subpoenaed on September 23, but the committee has been unable to physically serve him because he's missing.
As a result, the committee is now in limbo. Scavino was subpoenaed along with former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former adviser Steve Bannon, and former chief-of-staff to former Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, Kash Patel. The former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications was due to submit documents by October 7, and submit his deposition by October 15. But now it appears both deadlines will be missed.
The subpoenas are expected to be the first of many targeting Trump loyalists, as the committee works its way closer to the former President. Right from the start, the investigation has been faced with repeated setbacks, as the GOP continues to refuse to play ball. Trump himself has threatened legal action, but for now, it seems like it will go ahead, albeit without Scavino.
Where is Dan Scavino?
That's the question on the committee's mind, with no clear answer. Scavino has taken his Facebook profile down but is still pretty active on Twitter and Instagram. While he has repeatedly posted content, Scavino himself has not been seen in public for a while. Most photos on Instagram appear to be archival photos, while on Twitter he is constantly pushing Trump's agenda, but again without any sight of him.
Scavino has also not responded to requests for comment from many media organizations, indicating he is indeed keeping a very low profile over the investigation. Patel, Bannon, and Meadows are expected to comply with the subpoenas, CNN reported. It may seem like a smart move to evade the subpoena now, but it could spell trouble for Scavino down the line. "Refusing a subpoena from congress is a crime," noted Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans to serve on the committee.
"The problem is when you start seeing people resist, and people obfuscate, you have to look at that and go why are they doing that if they have nothing to hide?" Kinzinger added. He isn't the only one. Reportedly, the committee is preparing for the eventuality that many people won't comply with the requests and is considering a broad range of actions. One of the options being considered is the threat of criminal contempt, but it is unclear as of now if it will apply to Scavino.
Trump legal strategy 'not taking shape'
When the subpoenas were first issued, Trump threatened to invoke executive privilege, and even take legal action against the committee. "We will fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our country," he declared in a statement on September 23. However, it appears to be nothing more than a veiled threat at the moment. While many of Trump's close confidants refused to speak to the press, the few that did said "they are not aware of a legal strategy taking shape."
It could pose a challenge for the committee, as there are also mounting concerns many could simply plead the fifth and leave investigators with little of value. That's why there's such a large emphasis on documents. The committee has been collecting mountains of evidence over the past few months, including cellphone data from some members of Congress as well. But again, that data alone won't tell the whole story.
That's why the committee is working hard to locate Scavnio. To that end, one source joked to CNN that they should "just tweet the subpoena to the former Trump aide since he's been actively trolling the panel." It might just be a desperate last resort with the clock ticking down, we will have to wait and see.