John Roberts blocks Rand Paul's question on whistleblower

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul volunteering at hospital after negative coronavirus test Georgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat 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 ThuneTrump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill 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 LeeJustice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Trump on Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'I am so happy I can barely speak' MORE (R-Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzLawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil Overnight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves MORE (R-Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyPressure mounts on Congress for quick action with next coronavirus bill Hawley unveils initiative to rehire workers laid off during coronavirus crisis, bolster domestic production Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors 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) MoranRand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate Sinema criticizes Paul for alleged behavior ahead of coronavirus test results: 'Absolutely irresponsible' Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter dismantle Russian interference campaign targeting African Americans | YouTube to allow ads on coronavirus videos | Trump signs law banning federal funds for Huawei equipment MORE (R-Kansas) asked the House managers if the whistleblower worked for or with Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics 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