Schumer blasts Paul for calling on media to name whistleblower

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerForced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 I'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN 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 BidenStudent debt: It's the interest stupid US maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion To stabilize Central America, the US must craft better incentives for trade 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 TrumpCheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll We must do more to protect American Jews 6 in 10 say they would back someone other than Biden in 2024: Fox News poll 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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill MORE (R-Maine) told HuffPost.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Johnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence 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.