Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif). delivered a week before the panel by Cassidy Hutchinson, who previously served as an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked Lofgren to respond to a story published last week in The New York Times who reported that federal prosecutors working on the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation felt taken aback after seeing Hutchinson’s testimony and were just as surprised by her comments as those who watched it.
Several officials who spoke to the paper said prosecutors had not been provided with transcripts or videos of her previous interviews with the commission prior to her testimony. Hutchinson spoke with panelists behind closed doors four times before testifying at Tuesday’s public hearing.
“You know, I was surprised that the prosecutors were surprised. What are they doing there? They have a much greater chance of enforcing their subpoenas than our legislative commission has,” Lofgren told Todd.
When asked whether she thought it was a fair characterization that the House Panel had caught the Ministry of Justice by surprise, she said no.
“We are not part of the Ministry of Justice. We are a legislative committee. They have subpoena powers. They can sue Ms. Hutchinson. I’m surprised they hadn’t. We interviewed her four times. I think that’s common knowledge at this point. And the fourth interview was very compelling,” she added.
Lofgren’s comments come after Hutchinson gave explosive testimony at a last-minute hearing held by the panel on Tuesday.
Among the most important pieces of her testimony, she said that both Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought a pardon from former President Trump that Trump tried to grab the wheel of the car he was in on Jan. 6 in an attempt to reach the Capitol after learning he could not be taken there and that Meadows told her on January 2 that things could get “really, really bad” the day the riots finally happened.
Tensions have arisen between the House selection committee and the Justice Department, the latter of which has complained her investigation was hampered by the panel’s refusal to provide transcripts of witness interviews.
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