WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Democrats on Wednesday said the Republican head of the U.S. House of Representatives' main investigative committee is hiding unedited footage of "undercover" Planned Parenthood videos.
Top House Democrats say Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, received the footage about two weeks ago but has refused to share it. The release of edited versions of the footage has prompted some GOP lawmakers to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
"Chaffetz has in his possession right now, a computer hard drive that contains videos produced by David Daleiden, the head of the group that tried to entrap Planned Parenthood," Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., said, interrupting the chamber's debate on legislation expanding the investigation into Planned Parenthood.
A Democratic aide said Chaffetz is in "direct violation" of a recent subpoena for the unedited footage -- as is Daleiden for handing over the uncut footage only to Republicans, when the subpoena requires copies for both parties.
Edited videos from the footage were circulated weeks ago, which purported to show Planned Parenthood personnel discussing the sale of fetal body parts.
Response to the undercover videos has been far-reaching and has sparked vigorous debate among members of Congress and the 2016 presidential candidates.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards testified before the Oversight Committee last month, saying the videos are "deceptive" and disputed allegations her organization is attempting to profit from tissue sales.
Chaffetz, who is running to replace Rep. John Boehner as House Speaker, said he plans to set up a "viewing room" for Democrats to see the uncut footage, The Hill reported. Republicans, though, have not yet hosted a screening, the aide said.
Also Wednesday, the House voted 242 to 184 to establish a 13-member investigative committee to look into the allegations against Planned Parenthood.
The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, met with top Planned Parenthood officials and videotaped the discussions -- later releasing 10 videos at about 10 minutes in length for each.
Tuesday, a federal judge ruled the group can hand over unreleased footage to congressional investigators and comply with the Oversight Committee's subpoena.
Because Daleiden was barred from handing over the footage before Tuesday, it remains unclear whether the footage Chaffetz received Sept. 25 is the same footage that's repeatedly been sought by Democrats.
It's also unclear if the footage given to Chaffetz two weeks ago is truly unedited. Footage Daleiden posted online that he claimed was unedited was deemed by a forensic analysis to be altered.
"We don't know what the videos are because, despite the fact that the videos were delivered two weeks ago, the Republicans have yet to set up their 'viewing room,'" the aide said.
Most Republicans have responded to the edited versions of the videos with calls to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding, which has traditionally amounted to millions of dollars. Some Democrats, though, believe the true unedited footage will clear the women's health organization of any wrongdoing.
"Those videos are the property of the committee, but [Chaffetz] is refusing to give the Democratic members a copy of those videos," Slaughter said. "Those tapes are being hidden away.
"It appears that the Republicans don't want the Democrats to be able to see those videos."