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Rand Paul says he 'probably will' disclose whistleblower's name

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTwo Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he might disclose the name of a whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump's actions toward Ukraine spurred the House impeachment inquiry. 
 
Asked why he hasn't disclosed the name of the unknown individual, Paul told reporters that he "probably will." 
 
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"I'm more than willing to, and I probably will at some point. ... There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name," Paul told reporters. 
 
Paul doubled down on potentially publicly releasing the whistleblower's name during an interview with Fox News's Bret Baier on Tuesday night, saying that he "may" disclose the name. 
 
"There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now," Paul said. 
 
Questioned on why he didn't go to the Senate floor and disclose the name as part of a speech, he added, "I can, and I may, but I can do it right now if I want. Nothing stops me." 
 
Paul stressed during the Fox News interview that he was convinced he knew the individual's identity but that he had so far refrained from saying the name because he wanted to keep the focus on the process. 
 
"I want it to be more about the process and less about the person," Paul argued. "Nothing stops me. There's no law that stops me from doing it other than that I don't want to make it about the one individual."  
 
Paul's comments came after he said during a rally in Kentucky on Monday night that the media should disclose the name of the whistleblower. 
 
"We also now know the name of the whistleblower. The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness because he worked for Joe BidenJoe BidenFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs," Paul said at the rally after Trump invited him onstage, referencing unconfirmed reports in conservative media that the whistleblower worked for former Vice President Joe Biden.
 
"I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name," Paul told the crowd to loud cheers.
 
Paul's push to out the whistleblower drew blowback on Tuesday from several of his Republican colleagues who warned it would threaten legal protections for the whistleblower. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGraham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (D-N.Y.) also knocked Paul on Tuesday, saying he was "appalled." 
 
Democrats and commentators have countered that not only is the whistleblower’s identity legally protected under federal law, but it is unnecessary to disclose it because the information provided in the initial complaint has been corroborated several times over by witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.
 
But Trump and some of his closest allies have called for the individual's identity to be publicly revealed, arguing that the president should have the ability to confront his accuser. 
 
The whistleblower complaint is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry into whether Trump tied aid to Ukraine to the country opening an investigation into Biden and his son.
 
Trump over the weekend urged reporters to identify the whistleblower, saying they would "be doing the public a service" if they disclosed the individual’s identity. 
 
"They know who it is. You know who it is. You just don't want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don't want to report it," Trump said. "You know, you’d be doing the public a service if you did."