Senate

Schumer blasts Paul for calling on media to name whistleblower

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) knocked Sen. Rand Paul (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.

{mosads}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 Biden, 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 Trump 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 Collins (R-Maine) told HuffPost.

Sen. Roy Blunt (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.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Donald Trump Impeachment Impeachment Joe Biden Rand Paul Roy Blunt Susan Collins Whistleblower
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