Schumer blasts Paul for calling on media to name whistleblower

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerKrystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Rand Paul: 'We need to re-examine' US-Saudi relationship after Florida shooting Senate panel advances Turkey sanctions bill despite Trump objections MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday for urging the media to disclose the identity of the whistleblower at the center of the House impeachment inquiry. 

“I cannot stress just how wrong this is. We have federal whistleblower laws designed to protect the identity and safety of patriotic Americans who come forward to stand up for the Constitution,” Schumer said during a speech on the Senate floor.

He added that he was “appalled” by calls for the whistleblower’s identity to be publicly disclosed.

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Paul, speaking in his home state at a Trump campaign rally on Monday evening, referenced unconfirmed reports in conservative media that the whistleblower worked for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE, questioning the person's credibility.

"We also now know the name of the whistleblower. The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs," Paul said at the rally after President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE invited him onstage. 

"I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name," Paul told the crowd to loud cheers.

His comments come after Trump and his allies have been calling for the whistleblower to come forward, arguing that Trump has the right to confront his accusers.

The whistleblower complaint is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, in which lawmakers are looking into whether Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country opening up an investigation into the Bidens. 

“There should be bipartisan outrage at the public attempts by the president and a member of this body to expose the identity of a federal whistleblower,” Schumer argued. 

Republicans also quickly broke with Paul on Tuesday. 

“Whistleblowers are entitled to protection under the law ... to try to reveal the identity of this individual is contrary to the intent of the whistleblower law,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats spend big to put Senate in play Senate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating Republicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Maine) told HuffPost.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE (R-Mo.), a member of leadership, said he wants the whistleblower to come before the Senate Intelligence Committee but that he disagreed with Paul’s call for a public outing.

“That’s not my view,” he said about Paul’s comments.

Paul defended himself in a statement released later.

“The whistleblower statute protects the accuser from being fired but says nothing about skeptics revealing his name," he said. "There is absolutely no statute that prevents anyone, other than the inspector general from releasing the accuser’s name."

Updated: Nov. 6 at 11:40 a.m.