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Major Leadership Shakeup Hours Before UFO Hearing: Burchett Says He’s Out

A screenshot of the FLIR UFO video from the Pentagon.

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Confusion is erupting mere hours before a historic House hearing on UFOs is scheduled to take place. The UFO hearing is happening on Wednesday, July 26, at 9 a.m. Central/10 a.m. Eastern. But the night before, a change in who is going to chair the hearing was announced. Rep. Tim Burchett said he was just told that he wouldn’t be chairing the event (although it appears he will still be attending), while Rep. Robert Garcia announced he would be leading the historic meeting but he would not be the chair. We have since learned who will be chairing the meeting. 

To review a comprehensive, in-depth breakdown of all of Grusch’s claims, with citations, see our story here. To watch the House hearing live, see our story here with an embedded video. 

Rep. Tim Burchett Said He Was Told He Wouldn’t Be Chairing the Meeting

On Tuesday evening, July 25, Rep. Tim Burchett (R) revealed that he had been informed at the last minute that he wouldn’t be chairing the House Oversight Committee hearing on UFOs taking place the next morning. Burchett has been a huge advocate for UFO transparency, appearing on numerous podcasts and TV news interviews to talk about UAP sightings. He, Rep. Jared Maskovitz (D), Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R), and Rep. Eric Burlison (R) led a press conference last week about the hearing. 

Tim Burchett on Twitter
Tim Burchett on Twitter

Burchett tweeted on Tuesday evening: “I was just informed along with @realannapaulina that I will NOT be chairing the #UAP hearing.”

(Note: Twitter has recently changed its name to X, but for now we are still referring to messages on X as tweets.) 

Rep. Robert Garcia Said He Wants to Focus on National Security During the Hearing, But He’s Not Chairing It Either

Hours before Burchett’s tweet, Rep. Robert Garcia (D) tweeted that he would be leading the UFO hearing. Garcia did not use the word “chair” in his tweet or reference Burchett, and he later clarified that he was not the chair. 

He wrote: “As the ranking Democrat on the National Security subcommittee of @OversightDems, I’ll be leading a hearing tomorrow on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, more commonly knows as UFOs. The American people deserve full transparency & we need to understand any security implications.”

Rep. Robert Garcia's tweet
Rep. Robert Garcia’s tweet

He later clarified his focus with a second tweet

Rep. Robert Garcia tweet
Rep. Robert Garcia tweet

He wrote: “As the ranking Democrat on this subcommittee tomorrow, it’s important that we remain serious and transparent. We need to ground our discussion on impacts to national security.”

Later, he said that he was not the chair, in response to concerns about Burchett’s tweet. He said a Republican would be the chair. 

Garcia tweet
Garcia tweet

“To be clear, I’m not chairing the meeting,” he wrote. “Republicans chair all the committee meetings in Congress when they are in the majority and they decide who chairs. As ranking member my job is to lead the Democrats who are on the committee.”

Searching through Garcia’s past tweets, Post Apocalyptic Media couldn’t find any previous references to UAPs or UFOs. 

A recent article by The Hollywood Reporter noted that Garcia refers to himself as “the biggest nerd in Congress,” and is an avid comic book fan. THe article noted that he is “poised to lead Wednesday’s public hearings” on UAPs. While at Comic-Con, Garcia announced the Congressional Popular Arts Caucus to review copyright issues connected to AI and labor. He also participated in the SAG-AFTRA strike to show his support to them and the WGA strikers. 

Garcia told the LA Times that he was working with both parties to “ensure that we have a serious and responsible hearing” with a focus on national security. He noted: “There’s a lot of information we don’t know, and so I think that it’s really important that we have this hearing publicly.”

Garcia told the LA Times: “My job as the ranking member on the Democratic side is to ensure that we have a hearing that is responsible, that is serious, and that centers national security, and I will make sure working with my subcommittee chair that that’s the type of hearing that we hold.” 

Rep. Grothman Is Chairing the UAP Hearing

On Twitter, Joe Khalil of News Nation revealed that it will be Rep. Glenn Grothman who chairs the hearing. 

He wrote: “Rep. @RepGrothman, who typically chairs this specific subcommittee, will chair the UAP, UFO hearing tomorrow. Burchett, like many of us, expected he’d lead it given he and @realannapaulina have been so out front on the UAP issue.”

Grothman is the chair of the House Oversight’s Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, which is hosting the hearing.

Rep. Luna Said They Would Be Having ‘Field Hearings’

Rep. Luna tweet
Rep. Luna tweet

In response to the news, Rep. Luna tweeted: “We WILL be conducting field hearings.” 

This was in reference to a statement she made in last week’s press conference about field hearings, which Post Apocalyptic Media had covered. Luna was speaking about a trip they had made to Eglin Air Force base to speak with pilots, and how the Commanding General had stopped them. 

She said during the press conference: “Ultimately even before we got down there, the Pentagon tried to cancel the field hearing… These were whistleblowers, these were pilots who had come forward to Rep. Gaetz’s office with information saying this needs to be investigated, we have an increase in sightings in this region and it’s a cause for concern for national security reasons… So we went down there. We were stonewalled. They would not give us access to testimony from some of the pilots. They were hiding images & information.”

As she ended the press conference, she referred back to that field hearing and said they were willing to have more. 

“Being assigned to House Oversight & Accountability, we can conduct field hearings,” she said. “And if we continue to get stonewalled, if we smell that they’re giving us a bunch of BS, we are going to do the field hearings directly at those locations. We’re going to open it up to the press, because full transparency really is what we need in this situation.”

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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