Chief justice shuts down Rand Paul's attempt to out whistleblower


Paul submitted a question with the alleged name of the whistleblower, even though Justice Roberts warned senators he would not read any questions that included the name.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts thwarted an attempt by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to out the alleged whistleblower, refusing to read a question Paul submitted that contained the person's name.

"The presiding officer declines the question as submitted," Roberts said, after first reading Paul's question.

Paul submitted the question even though Roberts warned senators he would not read any questions that included the name of the person Republicans purport to be the whistleblower.

He also submitted the question minutes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell assured Roberts that senators would respect his rules and not submit questions that contained the alleged whistleblower's name.

Paul then turned his attempt to out the purported whistleblower into an even bigger stunt by leaving the Senate chamber and the impeachment proceedings to hold a news conference in the Senate Radio and Television Gallery, which is a long walk from the Senate floor.

There, even reporters questioned why Paul was conducting such a stunt.

"With all due respect, shouldn't you be at the impeachment hearing right now?" one reporter asked, according to McClatchy's Emma Dumain.

Paul also tweeted the question Roberts refused to read, including the name.

However, Paul said that the person he named might not be the whistleblower and that he has "no independent information on his identity."

This is the second time Paul tried to get Roberts to read the alleged whistleblower's name out loud. On Wednesday, Paul attempted to submit a question with the whistleblower's name, which was blocked because Roberts prescreened questions.

Republicans have tried for months to out the name of the person who they say issued the complaint that led to Donald Trump's impeachment.

One Trump campaign official tweeted the alleged name on Wednesday.

And House Republicans attempted to out the alleged whistleblower during the impeachment inquiry, but they were warned by Rep. Adam Schiff (R-CA), who led the inquiry, that they would face ethics investigations if they said the name.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.