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John Roberts blocks Rand Paul's question on whistleblower

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE's (R-Ky.) attempt to ask about the whistleblower whose report helped spark the impeachment inquiry is running into a roadblock in the form of Chief Justice John Roberts.

A source confirmed that Roberts has indicated he would not read a question from Paul regarding the whistleblower at the center of the House impeachment inquiry. 
 
The question from Paul is expected to name the individual. Because Roberts is responsible for reading the questions that would put him in the position of publicly outing the person on the Senate floor.
 
Paul indicated to reporters after a closed-door Republican dinner that he was not backing down from trying to ask his question.
 
“It’s still an ongoing process; it may happen tomorrow,” the libertarian-leaning senator told reporters as he headed back to the Senate chamber.
 
 
Senators have been submitting their questions to Republican leadership, who were responsible for weeding out duplicative questions. 
 
Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director Senate GOP works to avoid having '22 war with Trump MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Republican senator, indicated that leadership had not been involved in rejecting questions, but that he did not expect the whistleblower to be named on the floor during the impeachment trial.
 
“I don’t think that happens, and I guess I would hope that it doesn’t,” he told reporters.

Conservatives have used a series of questions to try to shed new information on the whistleblower, but none of the questions so far have named the individual.

Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTomi Lahren says CPAC attendees clearly want Trump to run in 2024 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won't defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections Cruz hits back at Boehner for telling him to 'go f--- yourself' MORE (R-Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyOn The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   MORE (R-Mo.) asked for details on who the whistleblower might have worked with.

Roughly 50 minutes later, Cruz, Hawley and Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump, part II Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE (R-Kansas) asked the House managers if the whistleblower worked for or with Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE.
 
The whistleblower has been a top target for Republicans for months, with Trump saying last year that the individual was "close to a spy."
 
Paul also indicated last year that he was willing to disclose the whistleblower's name, telling reporters that he "probably will." 

"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 at the time