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John Roberts blocks Rand Paul's question on whistleblower

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGeorgia Republican Drew Ferguson tests positive for COVID-19 Could Blacks and Hispanics hand Trump a November victory? Trump says ex-staffer who penned 'Anonymous' op-ed should be 'prosecuted' 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 ThuneOn The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pollsters stir debate over Trump numbers 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 LeeGeorgia Republican Drew Ferguson tests positive for COVID-19 Trump says ex-staffer who penned 'Anonymous' op-ed should be 'prosecuted' White House to host swearing-in event for Barrett on Monday night MORE (R-Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Memo: Texas could deliver political earthquake Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Cruz wants donors to repay K he loaned to his 2018 campaign MORE (R-Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTrump announces intention to nominate two individuals to serve as FEC members Murkowski predicts Barrett won't overturn Roe v. Wade Infrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs 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) MoranLobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes MORE (R-Kansas) asked the House managers if the whistleblower worked for or with Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election 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