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Rand Paul's Attempt to Name Whistleblower Squashed by Justice Roberts, Suggests He May Try Again

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During the questioning period in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reportedly tried to reveal the name of the whistleblower who filed that complaint that led to the impeachment inquiry.

The Hill reports that Paul tried to ask a question that allegedly included the name of the person believed to be the whistleblower, but Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read the question. 

After a Republican dinner, Paul told reporters that he might try to out the whistleblower again.

“It’s still an ongoing process; it may happen tomorrow,” he said. 

The whistleblower is protected by laws that state the intelligence community’s inspector general can’t release his name, but —as Paul previously noted — the law does not say that other individuals cannot release the name of the whistleblower.

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Sean Davis of The Federalist said Roberts was told any attempt to squash generic questions about the whistleblower would be “rebuked by recorded Senate vote.” Afterward, he stated he would not allow questions that mention the individual’s name.

https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1222720798886154247

During Trump’s rally in Lexington, Kentucky, in November 2019, Paul called on the media to release the name of the whistleblower, “I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name.”

In a separate interview, Paul said that he might go to the Senate floor and out the whistleblower.

However, his colleagues have indicated that they have no desire to name the individual believed to be behind the complaint.

“I don’t think that happens, and I guess I would hope that it doesn’t,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters when asked about Paul’s suggestion that he would try to out the whistleblower.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) previously said she believes the whistleblower’s identity should be protected, “Whistleblowers are entitled to protection under the law.” 

During the House Intelligence Committee’s hearings in the impeachment probe, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) shut down attempts to out the whistleblower, “We need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop. I want to make sure there is no effort to out the whistleblower as a result of these proceedings.”

Democratic lawmakers have argued that it is important to withhold the name of the whistleblower to protect the person’s safety.

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Meanwhile, Paul has argued that the Constitution gives Trump the right to face his accuser and suggested that it would run afoul of the Sixth Amendment not to allow Trump or his lawyers to cross-examine the whistleblower.

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