January 6 panel member ‘surprised’ by prosecutors’ reaction to Hutchinson’s testimony | News Today

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Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), who serves on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, said she was “surprised” by federal prosecutors’ reactions to testimony given in court. the panel this week by Cassidy Hutchinson, who was previously an assistant to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” which aired Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked Lofgren to respond to an article published last week in The New York Times which reported that federal prosecutors working on The Justice Department’s Jan. 6 inquiry felt caught off guard after watching Hutchinson’s testimony and were as surprised by his remarks as those who watched him.

Several officials who spoke to the newspaper said that prior to his testimony, prosecutors had not received transcripts or videos of his past interviews with the committee. Hutchinson spoke to panel investigators 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 opportunity to enforce their subpoenas than our legislative committee,” Lofgren told Todd.

When asked if she thought it was a fair characterization that the House panel had blindsided the Justice Department, she said she didn’t think so.

“We are not a branch of the Ministry of Justice. We are a legislative committee. They have subpoena power. They could subpoena Ms. Hutchinson. I’m surprised they didn’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 panel hearing on Tuesday.

Among the most important elements of her testimony, she said that Meadows and Rudy Giuliani had asked former President Trump for forgiveness, that Trump had tried to grab the steering wheel of the car he was in on January 6 in an attempt to go to the Capitol. after being told he couldn’t be taken there and being told by Meadows on January 2 that things could “get really, really bad” the day the riot finally happened.

Tensions arose between the House select committee and the Justice Department, with the latter complaining that its investigation had been hampered by the panel’s refusal to provide transcripts of witness interviews.

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