John Roberts blocks Rand Paul's question on whistleblower


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 ThuneClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names 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 LeeGianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Senate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections MORE (R-Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad How conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle MORE (R-Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyOvernight Defense: House Dems offer M for Army to rename bases | Bill takes aim at money for Trump's border wall | Suspect in custody after shooting at Marine training facility  Should the United States withdraw from the WTO? Defense spending bill includes M for Army to change Confederate base names 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) MoranWatchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' probe report Senate Democrats push federal agencies to combat coronavirus scams and robocalls Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Mayor Quinton Lucas MORE (R-Kansas) asked the House managers if the whistleblower worked for or with Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Tammy Duckworth is the epitome of the American Dream Mexico's president uses US visit to tout ties with Trump 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