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.
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.
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 ClapperUS intelligence community 'struggled' to brief Trump in 2016, CIA review shows An unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Hillicon Valley — Justice Department takes on Uber 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 SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans 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) MenendezSenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate Schumer requests Senate briefing on Ukraine amid Russia tensions Democrats face scaled-back agenda after setbacks MORE (D-N.J.) just last year threatened Ukraine’s aid if they didn’t keep investigating Trump. Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats face scaled-back agenda after setbacks MORE (D-Conn.) in September threatened Ukraine’s aid if they dared to investigate Hunter Biden. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' 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.