John Roberts blocks Rand Paul's question on whistleblower

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in 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 ThuneMcConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran 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 LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (R-Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' 'Medicare for All' will turn into health care for none Cruz 'impresses' his daughter with Chris Evans meeting MORE (R-Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate Democrats introduce legislation to change impeachment trial rules Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts four Chinese military officers over Equifax hack | Amazon seeks Trump deposition in 'war cloud' lawsuit | Inside Trump's budget | Republican proposes FTC overhaul GOP senator proposes overhauling federal agency to confront Big Tech 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) MoranThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (R-Kansas) asked the House managers if the whistleblower worked for or with Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Biden will go after Bloomberg, Sanders at Las Vegas debate, aides say 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