Sen. Rand Paul demanded the news media print the name of the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump during a rally Monday night in Kentucky.
"We also now know the name of the whistleblower. The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs," the Kentucky Republican said after being invited onto the stage by Trump, referring to unverified reports circulating through conservative outlets.
The whistleblower, whose identity has not been confirmed, is subjected to federal protections from retaliation for disclosure of information, with laws existing to protect the identities of people who bring forth accusations of wrongdoing by government officials.
To loud cheers from the audience, Paul continued, "I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name. And I say this to my fellow colleagues in Congress, to every Republican in Washington, 'Step up and subpoena Hunter Biden and subpoena the whistleblower!'"
He also tweeted the same declaration during the rally:
I call on Congress to have the courage to immediately subpoena both Hunter Biden and the whistleblower!
- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 5, 2019
Trump and his Republican supporters in Congress have insisted that the impeachment process has been unfair. One of their primary complaints has been the whistleblower's anonymity. Trump called for the whistleblower to testify publicly earlier Monday.
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Mark Zaid, an attorney for the whistleblower, said Sunday that his client would be willing to answer written questions from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee without going through Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff.
On Paul's comments during Monday night's rally, Zaid said, "A member of Congress who calls for the identity of any lawful whistleblower to be publicly revealed against their wishes disgraces the office they hold and betrays the interests of the Constitution and the American people."
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The president is accused of using military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden, the former vice president and a candidate for the Democrats' presidential nomination. The whistleblower had been told that Trump had spelled out his demands in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Contributing: William Cummings, USA TODAY.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rand Paul demands media reveal whistleblower's name: 'Do your job!'