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EXCLUSIVE — Top Democrat on China Select Committee opposes UAP Select Committee
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EXCLUSIVE — Top Democrat on China Select Committee opposes UAP Select Committee

Ep. 169 — Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi: “Our committees have the wherewithal to get this done" (1-24-2024)
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Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi talks to reporters huddled outside the SCIF Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Photo: Matt Laslo

Friday’s classified briefing on UFO whistleblower David Grusch’s allegations was the third time Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) has trekked down two flights of winding stairs to the SCIF — a sensitive compartmented information facility tucked in the recesses of the US Capitol — to investigate the claims for himself.

The third time wasn’t a charm.

“I’ve been to the SCIF three times now about this, and I still haven’t gotten the answers to the questions I want,” Krishnamoorthi exclusively told Ask a Pol after the classified briefing. “We're just dancing around the edges, and we're not getting into the substance of what's going on here.”

Stairs down to House SCIF underneath the US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

By Ask a Pol’s limited count, Krishnamoorthi was the highest ranked member of the House of Representatives to attend the classified UAP briefing.

Ask a Pol’s SCIF power-ranking chart

UPDATED on 1-18-2024 after Reps. Eric Burlison and Tim Burchett confirmed to Ask a Pol that Turner was NOT in the SCIF. Source: Laslo

Krishnamoorthi is the top Democrat on the new House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, which may be why he’s not behind the idea of a Select UAP Committee with actual subpoena power.

“I don’t know about that,” Krishnamoorthi said. “Our committees have the wherewithal to get this done.”

Like other lawmakers, on Friday morning Krishnamoorthi left the SCIF frustrated the Inspector General wasn’t forthcoming with lawmakers unless pressed, which is a broadly bipartisan complaint we’ve heard echoed throughout Ask a Pol’s exclusive conversations with 12 of the briefings 16 attendees.

Krishnamoorthi tells Ask a Pol, he’s looking into spearheading a bipartisan letter he hopes will wake officials in the executive branch up.

“Now I'm interested in a potentially writing a letter or doing some kind of, authoring some communication on a bipartisan basis, saying, ‘This is what we want. Come back to us with these answers, and let's not spend time on, kind of, procedural stuff,’” Krishnamoorthi told Ask a Pol.

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Krishnamoorthi’s frustrated with all the stonewalling from the IG, but he doesn’t think a Select UAP Committee is necessary. Photo: Matt Laslo

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LISTEN: Laslo & Krishnamoorthi

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Matt Laslo’s a veteran congressional correspondent, new media prof. & founder of Ask a Pol — a new, people-powered press corps.

Ask a Pol — asking your lawmakers your questions at your US Capitol. Follow us: @Ask_a_Pol (or @askpols on Insta).

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Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), slightly edited for clarity.

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TRANSCRIPT: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi

SCENE: The congressman is just finishing a short impromptu presser with the 10 or so reporters huddled outside the SCIF. When he ends and turns around, first person there is Matt Laslo…

Raja Krishnamoorthi: “I’ve got to go.”

Press: “Thank you!”

Matt Laslo: “Hey, happy new year!”

RK: “Hey, happy new year.”

ML: “Where do you guys go from here?”

RK: “Unfortunately, I think, we have to go back to yet another — I’ve been to the SCIF three times now about this, and I still haven’t gotten the answers to the questions I want…”

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Ask a Pol
Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
I cover Congress different. I listen. Learning daily. Even while throwing stones at all the glass houses. This will be a stream of my noteworthy interviews. They're conducted at the US Capitol, if not otherwise noted. Matt Laslo is a veteran congressional reporter, Johns Hopkins University lecturer, fmr. Vice News Tonight/HBO correspondent, etc.