The Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is drawing to a close this week, and on Tuesday, ardent Trump defender and Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul took the floor to deliver his own closing remarks. In that brief rant, he named the alleged whistleblower whose complaint to the intelligence community’s inspector general helped kickstart the investigation into Trump that culminated in his impeachment. The facts of Trump’s scheme to bribe Ukraine into investigating his domestic opponents are straightforwardly, publicly available; yet, Paul is still pursuing this angry and dangerous vendetta against this alleged whistleblower anyway.
In his Senate floor commentary that he delivered this Tuesday, Paul featured a question that he’d originally written up for the question-and-answer period of the trial last week, which presiding officer U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read. Paul names the alleged whistleblower in that question — which this time, he brought printed out on a big posterboard, which he stood next to while he spoke — although he doesn’t explicitly insist that the named individual is, in fact, the whistleblower. He’s building off a conspiracy theory web developed by pro-Trump media outlets.
‘I’m going to ask that question again this morning because the Constitution does protect debate. I think they made a big mistake not allowing my question. My question did not talk about anybody who is a whistleblower, my question did not accuse anybody of being whistleblower, it did not make a statement believing that someone was a whistleblower. I simply named two people’s names because I think it’s very important to know what happened.’
Paul’s question asked if those managing the House’s impeachment case were aware of the supposed personal connection of the alleged whistleblower and a House Intelligence Committee staffer, who together were supposedly plotting a way to get Trump impeached. Paul claimed:
‘In the first month of Trump’s office, in January of 2017, they were already plotting the impeachment. And you say ‘Well, we should protect the whistleblower, and the whistleblower deserves anonymity.’ The law does not preserve anonymity. His boss is not supposed to say anything about him, he’s not supposed to be fired. I’m for that.’
Paul can make a big show out of supposedly not explicitly tying the named individual to the whistleblower all he wants, but the only reason that their name is relevant to anyone is because of the allegations that they filed the complaint revealing Trump’s Ukraine bribery scheme, which helped drive the impeachment proceedings. The president has explicitly threatened those involved in developing the complaint — at one point, he suggested that White House sources for information should be dealt with like spies used to be, which entails execution.
Paul doesn’t care. At a rally with Trump awhile back, he took the stage and made a public plea for mainstream media outlets to name the alleged whistleblower publicly, but they have not exactly fallen in line with that demand. Besides, again — the facts outlined in that complaint have since been duly confirmed.