Rand Paul Is Really Mad He Couldn’t Use the Impeachment Trial to Out the Whistleblower
Not for lack of trying.
For the last few days, we’ve been in the part of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial where the House Managers and Trump’s legal team answer questions. The way that works is that Senators submit written questions to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who reads them aloud.
Roberts has had to read some pretty inane questions. Many are full of blatantly partisan language, like one from Sens. Kevin Cramer and Todd Young that referred to Trump as an “innocent defendant.” For the most part, Roberts has kept his poker face on tight, not giving any indication of his feelings on the questions–even when he got a question so over the line that he refused to read it.
Rand Paul of Kentucky submitted a question to Chief Justice Roberts that reportedly contained the name of the whistleblower whose complaint kicked off the entire impeachment inquiry. Roberts refused to read it because of course he did. The identity of the whistleblower is legally protected and for good reasons, starting with the fact that Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened retaliation for their complaint.
Watch the moment when Rand Paul tries to out the whistleblower by asking a question with his or her name in it and Chief Justice Roberts “declines to read the question as submitted.” pic.twitter.com/sJwljoK6OO
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 30, 2020
This isn’t the first time Paul has called for the whistleblower’s identity to be revealed. He joined Trump for a rally back in November where he demanded the media release their name. He also tried to ask Chief Justice Roberts the same question Wednesday night (or possibly a different question that also included the whistleblower’s name) and Roberts responded the exact same way as he did Thursday morning.
This is a promising new trend. Everybody pretend Rand Paul doesn’t exist and ignore whatever he says. https://t.co/9JmyIGiktf
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) January 30, 2020
All of this is especially weird coming from Paul, a man who once received an award for advocating for whistleblower protections. How quickly these lawmakers will sell out their core beliefs for a little Trump approval.
Rand Paul is exhibit #1 that libertarianism is just the same old white supremacist bs pretending to be something about freedom from tyranny.
— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) January 30, 2020
After Roberts refused to read his question (again), Paul walked out of the chamber to complain to reporters instead.
“I think this is an important question, one that deserves to be asked, and makes no reference to anybody who may or may not be a whistleblower,” Paul told reporters. According to multiple reporters, though, the question, which he read to them, did include the name of the alleged whistleblower, as well as another individual.
Sen Paul reads reporters his question. It names the whistleblower and a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, accusing them of plotting together to impeach the President.
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 30, 2020
His question did not contain the word “whistleblower”. Instead it names 2 ppl who worked at the National Security Council, asks about reporting they knew each other and spoke about impeaching Pres Trump.
One of the ppl named *is* the suspected whistleblower though.
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) January 30, 2020
Rand Paul, who should be in the impeachment hearing right now, gives a press conference and names the whistleblower.
Can the Senate Sergeant at Arms please arrest this fool? https://t.co/zsdAcVUa4a
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) January 30, 2020
Reporter just asked, “with all due respect, shouldn’t you be at the impeachment hearing right now?” https://t.co/VoS5ThsP7e
— Emma Dumain (@Emma_Dumain) January 30, 2020
Paul also tweeted his question, complete with names. He maintained that he wasn’t outing the alleged whistleblower because “I have no independent information on his identity,” which multiple reporters have refuted.
“My question is about the actions of known Obama partisans within the NSC and House staff and how they are reported to have conspired before impeachment proceedings had even begun,” he wrote on Twitter.
If Trump isn’t removed from office, Rand Paul’s arrest/eviction from the Senate wouldn’t be the worst consolation prize.
(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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