Senator Rand Paul outed the alleged Trump whistleblower on the floor of the Senate

Senator Rand Paul outed the alleged Trump whistleblower on the floor of the Senate
Senator Rand Paul outed the alleged Trump whistleblower on the floor of the Senate  

Reuters/John Sommers II

  • On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul read a question on the floor of the Senate that outed the alleged Ukraine whistleblower.

  • The move flies in the face of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who previously blocked Paul's question.

  • Though a bloc of GOP members has repeatedly tried to out the whistleblower, there is bipartisan consensus that the whistleblower's identity should be protected.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul read a question on the floor of the Senate that outed the alleged Ukraine whistleblower. He accompanied the question with a large placard printed with the whistleblower's name.

The move, first reported by POLITICO's Kyle Cheney on Twitter, flies in the face of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who previously blocked Paul's question.

Chief Justice Roberts, the overseer of Senate impeachment proceedings for President Donald Trump, is responsible for reading legislators' questions. Last week he refused to read Paul's question.

Democrats have tussled with hard-line Republicans over protecting the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower, which would have been revealed if Roberts had not refused to read Rand's question.

Video: Columbia Law School Professor Explains Exactly How Impeachment Works

The whistleblower is protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act, which protects federal employees who "lawfully disclose information they reasonably believe evidences a violation of law, rule, or regulation."

According to CNN last week, Paul was frustrated by Robert's move. And the junior senator from Kentucky said he would continue pressing the issue.

"It's still an ongoing process; it may happen tomorrow," Paul said to a group of reporters on his way to the Senate chamber last week, referring to what he saw as a possibility to get his question on the record.

Federal law prevents whistleblowers from backlash and retaliation. Trump has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower, however.

"The whistleblower is a disgrace to our country. A disgrace. And the whistleblower, because of that, should be revealed," Trump said to reporters last fall, adding that the whistleblower's attorney should be sued "for treason".

Andrew Bakaj, one of the whistleblower's lawyers, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the White House at the time, demanding that Trump end his public retaliation against the individual.

"His calls to the public to identify my client by name and his suggestion that he would support acts of violence against my client are, candidly, some of the most dangerous and reckless things a President of the United States can say," Bakaj wrote.

  • Read more:

  • Chief Justice John Roberts shut down Republican demands to name the Ukraine whistleblower, and it could spark a major standoff

  • The Senate began a marathon 16-hour question-and-answer session on Wednesday. Here are the key moments.

  • Everything you need to know about Trump's impeachment process: What's happened, who the players are, and what comes next



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