Schumer blasts Paul for calling on media to name whistleblower

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Rand Paul's exchange with Fauci was exactly what America needed GOP Arizona lawmaker says Fauci and Birx 'undermine' Trump's coronavirus response 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 BidenTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Susan Rice: Trump picks Putin over troops 'even when it comes to the blood of American service members' Does Donald Trump even want a second term? 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 TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties 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 CollinsTrump sealed his own fate Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (R-Maine) told HuffPost.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats 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.