Rand Paul warns he could oppose impeachment trial rules if it limits witnesses

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGeorgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat Warren knocks McConnell for forcing in-person Senate vote amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (R-Ky.) warned on Thursday that he could oppose a resolution establishing rules for a likely impeachment trial if it limits witnesses and blocks the whistleblower from being called to testify. 
 
"I'm all in favor of the president calling Joe BidenJoe BidenSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report Sunday shows preview: As coronavirus spreads in the U.S., officials from each sector of public life weigh in Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' MORE, Hunter Biden and the whistleblower. ... I'd advise Republicans not to participate in anything that doesn't allow defense witnesses," Paul told reporters on Thursday. 
 
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Asked if he would vote against a resolution that didn't include calling the whistleblower, Paul said that he would. 
 
The senator's comments come as he's made waves this week, calling for the identity of the whistleblower, who is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, to be publicly disclosed. 
 
Trump and some of his allies are also adopting this approach to combat the impeachment proceedings, calling for the whistleblower's name to become public. The president and his supporters argue that it would allow the president to confront his accuser and help disclose any potential biases or political motivations of the individual. 
 
Paul, during a Monday rally with Trump in Kentucky, called on the media to publish the name of the whistleblower. The next day he told reporters that he "probably will" disclose the name. 
 
A push to call the whistleblower as part of the impeachment trial would likely complicate the ability for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Progressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBiden calls on Trump to appoint coronavirus 'supply commander' Democrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) to get a deal on the process for an impeachment trial. 
 
"I think it's so partisan ... that I don't know how we get together on rules," Paul said about the chances for a deal, but added that he would "cooperate" if senators were allowed to make motions and both sides were able to call witnesses.
 
McConnell and Schumer haven't yet started negotiating on the eventual rules for an impeachment trial and some senators are skeptical they'll be able to reach an agreement given the increasingly partisan nature of Congress. 
 
The Senate during the Clinton impeachment trial passed a resolution 100-0 that established the procedure for filing motions, how long senators would get to ask questions and how witnesses would be called.
 
But the resolution didn't specify which witnesses should be called. 
 
second, separate resolution passed by the Senate during the Clinton impeachment trial on witnesses broke down along party lines. The resolution specifically allowed for subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky, Sidney Blumenthal and Vernon Jordan Jr. to testify as part of the trial.
 
The Clinton-era resolution only needed a simple majority to pass the chamber, meaning in a similar circumstance today McConnell could push a motion through without Democratic support if he keeps most of his 53-member caucus on board. 
 
But in addition to alienating Democrats, a demand to include the whistleblower would likely face pushback from several GOP senators who have said they oppose publicly disclosing the individual's name.