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EXCLUSIVE—Jamie Raskin is studying UFOs: “I’m a real newcomer to the field”
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EXCLUSIVE—Jamie Raskin is studying UFOs: “I’m a real newcomer to the field”

Ep. 16 B (forgot to number it! Oops) — Rep. Jamie Raskin (7-26-2023)
Rep. Jamie Raskin studying up on UFOs ahead of whistleblower David Grusch’s testimony. Photo: Matt Laslo

As the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is constantly searching for answers. And for the first time in his storied and studious life, he’s applying his tenacious investigative skills to UFOs, which was on display in yesterday’s public hearing.

“There [were] a lot of people getting in touch with me, telling me I had to come and check it out. I did what I could to read up on it,” Raskin exclusively tells Ask a Pol. “Obviously, I’m a real newcomer to the field so I’m gonna be reading more into it.”

While Raskin’s seen as a progressive firebrand by many on the right, he’s also maintained the respect of many Republicans for his intricate knowledge of the law, history, quick wit and mastery of the lost art of logic.

The constitutional lawyer and professor-turned-politician is seemingly tireless, and he’s now got lots of questions about UFOs (or UAPs—Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena—according to NASA).

Raskin’s now demanding answers, especially when it comes to UFO whistleblower David Grusch—an Air Force veteran and former intelligence official—who testified under oath that he knows many government secrets, though many of which he’s not allowed to divulge publicly.

The House Oversight Committee hearing room. Photo: Matt Laslo

“It seemed like sometimes Mr. Grusch could testify freely and in detail, and then other times he didn’t. So I would be interested to hear more fulsome testimony in a SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility],” Raskin says.

The 60-year-old, who’s currently battling cancer, was the lead manager in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial and was a C-SPAN star to any who tuned in to last summer’s select Jan. 6 committee investigation.

Now that Raskin’s entered the non-partisan world of UFOs, Republicans may be singing a different tune soon, especially because he doesn’t seem to take no for an answer.

“I can assure you from what members were saying that there will be a meeting in the SCIF with him to go over all those questions that remain unanswered,” Raskin tells Ask a Pol.

Asking your lawmakers your questions in your Capitol.

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s interview with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), slightly edited for clarity.

Matt Laslo: “I’m a little surprised to see you here—this isn’t quite your usual issue?”

Jamie Raskin: “There [were] a lot of people getting in touch with me, telling me I had to come and check it out. I did what I could to read up on it, and, obviously, I’m a real newcomer to the field so I’m gonna be reading more into it.”

ML: “What did you make of all the ‘can’t talk about that here,’ ‘has to be classified,’ ‘can’t talk about that’?” 

JR: “You saw I asked about that. It seemed like sometimes Mr. Grusch could testify freely and in detail, and then other times he didn’t. So I would be interested to hear more fulsome testimony in a SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility].” 

Air Force veteran and fmr. US intelligence official David Grusch ahead of the Oversight Committee’s public UAP hearing. Photo: Matt Laslo

ML: “How often do people on Oversight get access to SCIFs? Do you have to get special permission from the Speaker’s office or…?”

JR: “No, it happens frequently.”

ML: “Interesting. It’s curious these members [Reps. Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL)] asked to see extra information before having this big Oversight hearing and they were denied?”

JR: “Which members did?”

ML: “Burchett and Luna and others, probably. They said they wanted a classified briefing.”

JR: “Yeah. From whom? From NASA or from…?”

ML: “They’re gonna tell us, but I was asking them if they asked the Speaker’s office…”

JR: “I’d be interested to know about it and again…”

ML: “Where did that denial come from, did it come from Turner on the intel committee?”

Raskin Aide: “It depends on who they’re asking–-so the chair of the committee would know more about that, I think.”

ML: “So, ask Comer?” 

Aide: “Or Mr. Grothman. I don’t know if it’s been going through him, but yeah.”

ML: “Could the intel community deny that briefing or…?”

JR: “Deny that Oversight Committee?”

ML: “That briefing in the SCIF.”

JR: “No, I don't think so.”

ML: “So it had to come from within Congress, it seems?”

JR: “Yeah but I’m not quite sure what information they were looking for, and so I’m not sure who would have the authority.” 

ML: “Well, you heard all his answers—he said he could only talk about it in a SCIF.”

JR: “I can assure you from what members were saying that there will be a meeting in the SCIF with him to go over all those questions that remain unanswered.”

ML: “And it sounds like you have questions.”

JR: “Yeah.”

ML: “Appreciate ya, sir.”

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Matt Laslo is a veteran congressional correspondent and founder of Ask a Pol—Washington’s new people-powered press corps. Find him on most social media @MattLaslo

We’re @Ask_a_Pol or @askpols on Insta.

Camila Aponte and Noah Kolenda contributed to the production of this transcript. Take typos up with Congress (and ping us, please! Our apologies in advance). 

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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.