Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward
© Greg Nash

There has been much discussion in recent days about what is appropriate regarding the “whistleblower” and his testimony and relevance. There has been much disinformation by partisan Democrats and their media accomplices. I want to set some of the facts straight here.

First, we must recognize what whistleblower laws are and are not intended to do. And we must think clearly and rationally about what situations they apply to.

First, they are meant to protect someone’s job against revenge. They help someone go outside of their chain of command. For example, say a boss in an agency gave out an improper contract. It would not be possible to go to the boss, so the system is set up so that the complaint can be heard.

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This isn’t what happened here, and this wasn’t some bureaucrat. The information revealed by the “whistleblower” was of a political nature and was known to dozens of people who came to a different conclusion than the “whistleblower.” In fact, what the “whistleblower” revealed was second-hand information that someone in the White House illegally passed along to him.

Of the dozens of people who were aware of the contents of the call, many are of the opinion that the president broke no law when he asked for an investigation of corruption concerning Hunter Biden. It hardly seems that an impeachable offense could have occurred when people privy to the same information draw different conclusions.

The “whistleblower’s” revelation, however, has resulted in an impeachment proceeding, essentially a trial of the president. If convicted, the impeachment trial could lead to criminal penalties after the president’s term in office.

Anonymity is not an option when your accusations trigger criminal penalties. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to confront one’s accusers. The witness must both face his accuser and face questions regarding his own knowledge and activities.

The ability to confront and cross-examine one’s accuser is a key component of our judicial process, critical to finding truth. Whistleblower statutes are a good thing as long as they don’t attempt to limit the ability to cross-examine your accuser.

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In the workplace, there may be whistleblowing that does not lead to a courtroom in which anonymity for the whistleblower can be maintained. But once the conflict enters a court proceeding, or in this case an impeachment trial, fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand that the accuser step forward, face to face with the accused.

With regard to whistleblower statutes, not only do I support them, but I have advocated that they be expanded to cover government contractors such as Edward Snowden. Edward Snowden, as will be recalled, proudly attached his name when he released proof that James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe curious timeline for taking down Trump Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Schiff: Barr 'weaponizing' DOJ 'to go after the president's enemies' MORE had lied about warrantless mass surveillance of Americans.

These statutes are intended to prevent someone from being fired or prosecuted. The statute dictates that the inspector general not release the name but is silent as to anyone else revealing the name.

It’s funny that before THIS whistleblower, many who are now criticizing my stance chose not to defend perhaps the greatest whistleblower of all time –Snowden. Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) said of Snowden, “If Mr. Snowden had the courage of his convictions, he would come back to the country, stand trial, and tell the American people and a jury why he thought what he did was justified.”

It seems Schumer’s defense of whistleblowers depends upon the subject whistled.

I believe it is very simple: the Sixth Amendment guarantee of confronting your accuser supersedes all statutes. Any whistleblower who alleges a crime ultimately will have to face their accused in court. Even the New York Times acknowledges this fact.

With regard to withholding aid, I think all foreign aid is unconstitutional, but even given today’s parameters for aid, the law requires that any country that receives it must be free of corruption.

One thing for certain, though, is that both sides have tried to condition aid on investigations. President Obama never gave Ukraine the lethal aid that Congress appropriated. Biden bragged that he threatened to withhold a billion dollars in aid if Ukraine didn’t fire the prosecutor. Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward MORE (D-N.J.) just last year threatened Ukraine’s aid if they didn’t keep investigating Trump. Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.) in September threatened Ukraine’s aid if they dared to investigate Hunter Biden. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: report What are Republicans going to do after Donald Trump leaves office? MORE hired a foreign spy, Christopher Steele, to investigate and produce the Steele dossier.

I think fairness dictates that they all be judged with the same standard. Fairness requires public testimony and cross-examination of the whistleblower.

But fairness isn’t in the equation right now for partisan Democrats.

Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky.