Frustrated lawmakers demand answers on UFOs

Senior lawmakers are increasingly demanding that military and other government officials provide them with information about intelligence on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).

The demands reflect frustrations on the part of some lawmakers that they are being kept in the dark about what’s known about UFOs and UAPs.

The lawmakers do not necessarily believe the government is hiding signs of extraterrestrial life from the public and congressional oversight. But they are frustrated they are not learning more about unknown objects flying in restricted U.S. air space.

“My primary interest in this topic is if there are … object[s] operating over restricted air space, it’s not ours and we don’t know whose it is, that’s a problem that we need to get to the bottom of,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“If there’s an explanation for it that’s being kept from Congress, then we need to force the issue. We’re not getting answers,” Rubio told The Hill.  

The Senate has adopted an amendment to an annual defense bill that would require the federal government to collect and disclose all records related to UFOs and UAPs unless a special review board determines they must be kept classified.  

The amendment was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, and is backed by Rubio and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats, as well as Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), a former Marine intelligence officer, and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).  

Rubio, the top-ranking Republican on the intelligence committee, has more access to classified information than the vast majority of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. He said he suspects there are records related to unidentified aerial phenomena that are being kept secret from congressional oversight.  

“Right now, what I know is reliable people tell us that and we’ve seen objects operating over restricted military and national security airspace. They claim it’s not ours. They claim they don’t know whose it is. That’s like the definition of a national security threat,” he said.  

“Either there’s an answer that exists and is not being provided, or there is no answer. Beyond that, I don’t want to speculate anything,” he added. 

Rubio said he was familiar with the claims of David Grusch, a career intelligence officer who worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He claims the federal government has retrieved “non-human origin technical vehicles” that have landed or crashed on Earth.  

“We have a number of people including that gentleman who have come forward both publicly and privately to make claims,” Rubio said.  

“One of two things are true. Either A, they’re telling the truth or some version of the truth or B, we have a bunch of people with high clearances and really important jobs in our government are nuts. Both are a problem. And I’m not accusing these people of being nuts. That said, that’s something we’ll look at and continue to look at seriously,” he said.  

Interest in the subject is also reflected by this week’s House Oversight Committee hearing Thursday on UAPs and UFOs.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who is chairing the hearing, says lawmakers will hear testimony from Grusch, as well as former Navy Cmdr. David Fravor and former Navy pilot Ryan Graves.  

Burchett claimed on a podcast this month that the federal government has known about UFOs for decades and “they can fly underwater and don’t show a heat trail,” appearing to defy the laws of physics.  

Congressional sources familiar with efforts to gain more information from the Defense Department and intelligence agencies say UAPs and UFOs are being detected more frequently because of improvements in military sensor technology.  

The Department of Defense released three Navy videos in 2020 that show objects flying in extraordinary ways and capturing confused and awe-struck comments of Naval aviators who witnessed the phenomena.  

Grusch, who describes himself as a whistleblower, says senior intelligence officers have told him they participated in a secret UAP task force, though he says he has not personally witnessed nonhuman intelligence. He says he was retaliated against when he tried to gain more information about the program.  

Rubio said “we don’t know” if such a program exists and what evidence it might have collected. 

“Without speculating or adding to intrigue about this whole topic, there’s no doubt that in this field, generally, there’s more than what we know,” he said. “We’re trying to get to a process where at least some people in Congress do know.” 

Asked why he suspects there’s more for Congress to know about UAPs, Rubio said “there’s pieces of puzzles that don’t fit.” 

“Most certainly there are elements of things, whether historic or current, that potentially Congress has not been kept fully informed of — and that would be a problem,” he said. “There’s really no function of the executive that shouldn’t require congressional oversight at some level.” 

The language in the Senate defense bill would require the National Archives and Records Administration to create a collection of records related to UAPs across government agencies that would be declassified for public use. 

“UAPs generate a lot of curiosity for many Americans, and with that curiosity sometimes comes misinformation,” Schumer said Tuesday on the Senate floor.  

Most lawmakers are extremely reluctant to say they suspect aliens from other solar systems are visiting Earth because there isn’t any undisputable evidence of such visits in the public domain. 

Also, the nearest star to planet Earth is 40,000 billion kilometers away, making it seem impossible that any alien craft could travel the distance necessary to span solar systems. The nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is so far away that it would take the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which travels at 17.3 km per second, 73,000 years to reach it, according to NASA.  

It’s also hard to fathom that a foreign adversary such as China possesses such advanced technology that it can fly aerial vehicles in ways that appear to defy the laws of physics, as U.S. military personnel have observed of UFOs or UAPs.  

Rounds said he has seen “no evidence personally” that extraterrestrial craft are visiting the planet but said, “I know that there’s a lot of people that have questions about it.” 

“It’s just like with JFK and the [1963] assassination. We set up separate archive for that or central collection place for all that data, which I think gave the American people a sense of security that there was a location where it was being held. This is following that same approach,” he said.  

The White House announced late last month that the National Archives had concluded its review of documents related to the assassination of former President Kennedy and that 99 percent of the relevant records had been made publicly available.

Asked about whether he personally believes military personnel and sensors are encountering extraterrestrial visitors, Rounds said: “I don’t think you can discount the possibility just simply because of the size of the universe.” 

“I don’t think anybody should say that they know for certain either way,” he said. “If we simply refuse to acknowledge there’s even a remote possibility, then we’re probably not being honest.” 

“Some of the items we simply can’t explain,” he said of the Naval videos of UAPs.

GOP fears Trump legal woes will boomerang on them 

Senate Republicans are worried former President Trump’s legal troubles will create a major headwind for GOP candidates in 2024.  

They say the battle between the Justice Department and Trump, who pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he violated the Espionage Act and obstructed justice with his handling of classified documents, will become a primary litmus test — just as his unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was stolen became a prominent point of debate in last year’s GOP primaries.  

They also worry Trump’s dominance of the media spotlight will turn off swing voters — especially suburban women — and hurt their chances of taking back the Senate or protecting their small House majority.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who has endorsed Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) for president, told reporters on Tuesday there’s “no question” the “serious” allegations against Trump will hurt the GOP if he is the nominee.  

Rounds said voters will ultimately decide whether the charges disqualify Trump from holding office, but he predicted they will create a headwind.

“Voters are going to make that determination, but most certainly for a lot of us as you look at that, it’s not going to help,” he said. “This is not good for our party, clearly not good for our party.”

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) also warned Republicans will pay the price if Trump and his various legal battles dominate the political debate next year. 

“I think if you look at the record, in ’18, ’20, and ’22, when he’s the issue, we lose,” Thune said, referring to Republicans’ loss of the House in the 2018 midterm election, their loss of the White House and Senate in the 2020 election and Senate Republicans’ failure to take back the upper chamber in 2022.  

“I would rather have the issue be Biden and his policies. I think the way that you do that is you have a different nominee,” said Thune, who has also endorsed Scott for president.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) speaks during the weekly press conference following the Republican luncheon at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.

Asked whether he was worried the indictment could drag down the party in 2024, Thune replied: “I’m worried obviously about the Senate races.” 

“There’s no question the political environment affects that, and the top of the ticket is part of the political environment,” he said.  

Thune acknowledged the legal battle could help Trump in a primary, but he argued it would hurt the GOP at large in a general election.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, it gives him a political bump,’ and all that, and that may be true with the political base but, again, the people who decide national elections are the middle of the electorate. It’s the soccer moms, it’s the suburban voters, it’s younger voters, and I just think we’ve got a candidate who can appeal to those,” he said.  

“A lot of the drama and the chaos that seems to be happening with an ongoing basis [with Trump] makes it harder to win those types of voters,” Thune observed.

More Senate coverage from The Hill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after last year’s disappointing midterm election that the “chaos” and “negativity” surrounding Trump hurt Senate GOP candidates, though he didn’t mention Trump by name.

On Tuesday, however, McConnell declined to go anywhere near Trump’s legal troubles when asked whether he would support the former president if he wins the party’s nomination. 

“I’m just simply not going to comment on the candidates,” he said when asked about supporting Trump, noting the Republican presidential primary has been playing out for the past six months and will last for another year. 

Asked about the indictment itself and whether Trump did anything wrong, McConnell replied: “I’m not going to start commenting on the various candidates we have running for president. There are a lot of them; it’s going to be interesting to watch.” 

McConnell’s caution reflects in part the fact many GOP senators and Senate Republican candidates remain ardent fans of the former president.  

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) missed an important vote Tuesday on Biden’s nominee to serve as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; he was headed to Trump’s New Jersey golf club to attend a Trump rally.

Also on Tuesday, first-term Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) announced he would put a hold on Biden’s nominees to the Justice Department to protest the federal prosecution of Trump.  

“If Merrick Garland wants to use these officials to harass Joe Biden’s political opponents, we will grind his department to a halt,” Vance said in a statement. 

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio)

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) asks questions during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 to discuss the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March.

Vance’s hold will require Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to go through the time-consuming process of scheduling votes on individual nominees.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told reporters Tuesday that the Justice Department’s indictment will have a “galvanizing effect” on Republican voters and predicted Trump, who has a big lead in national and key primary state polls, will be the party’s nominee.  

“I think voters see [the indictment] for what it is. It is politically motivated, clearly,” he said.

He noted that Trump has already faced two impeachment trials and multiple accusations over the years, including his recent indictment on 34 felony charges by the Manhattan district attorney and a jury’s decision to award author E. Jean Carroll $5 million in damages after finding the former president liable for sexual abuse and defamation.  

“There’s always a lot of a lot around President Trump,” he said.  

Sign up for the latest from The Hill here

He disagreed with Senate Republican colleagues who blame Trump for the failure to win back the majority last year.  

“If Senate Republicans want to blame somebody for that, we should go get a mirror,” he said.

A June 7-10 CBS/YouGov poll of 2,480 adults showed Trump leading his nearest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by 38 percentage points. The survey recontacted 1,798 respondents after the federal indictment was unsealed. 

Top GOP Senator Says Trump May Be Criminally Prosecuted Over Capitol Riots

South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds (R) spoke out this week to say that President Donald Trump may be criminally prosecuted for inciting the riots at the U.S. Capitol building last week. However, he stopped short of saying that he would support Trump’s impeachment.

Rounds Discusses Capitol Riots

“In my opinion, what we had was an insurrection,” he told the Forum News Service. “We had violence. We had people killed. We had a mob that ignored direct commands. They attacked law enforcement officers. They damaged federal property. They clearly intended to stop us from performing our duties in the recognition of the electoral vote count.

“If there are (impeachment) proceedings brought against him (Trump),” he continued, “and even if the article of impeachment is not followed through in the Senate, if the article of impeachment to incitement of a riot or incitement of an insurrection are followed through in a criminal proceeding, that by itself would … stop him (Trump) for running for election to a public office again.”

Related: Top GOP Senator Says Trump May Be Criminally Prosecuted Over Capitol Riots

Rounds Accuses Trump Of Lying To His Supporters

Rounds went on to say that many of Trump’s supporters were misled by him when it came to his claims of voter fraud in the election.

“When the story of this last 90 days is told, they will clearly lay out that the president of the United States misled very, very good, honest, patriotic Americans by telling them time and again that the election was stolen,” Rounds said. “I believe that history will hold him accountable.”

After the House voted to impeach Trump for a second time on Wednesday, Rounds added that the timing of impeachment for the purpose of removing Trump from office seems “moot.”

“The timing right now with the removal of office being the primary purpose would seem to me to be moot,” Rounds said, adding that he does not think Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will bring the Senate back into session before Trump leaves office next week. This means that an impeachment trial wouldn’t begin until he is out of the White House.

Read Next: AOC Claims She ‘Thought She Was Going To Die’ During ‘Close Encounter’ In Capitol Riot

This piece was written by James Samson on January 14, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Trump Takes Blame For Assault On The Capitol
Man Arrested After He Allegedly Discussed ‘Putting A Bullet’ In Pelosi Via Text
Top GOP Senator Claims Trump Impeachment ‘Clearly Is Not Going To Happen’

The post Top GOP Senator Says Trump May Be Criminally Prosecuted Over Capitol Riots appeared first on The Political Insider.