Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) read out a question named purported name of the anonymous whistleblower in the midst of President Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial in a speech on Tuesday. He was previously blocked twice from doing so during Trump’s trial.

The question named Eric Ciaramella as the whistleblower, although even Paul has admitted he has no evidence confirming he in fact was the whistleblower.  

The question read, “Are you aware that the House Intelligence Committee staffer, Sean Misko, had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together? Are you aware, and how would you respond to the reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the president before there were formal House impeachment proceedings?”

This question was rejected twice by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. However, Paul is allowed to say the whistleblower’s name under the speech and debate clause despite Robert’s decision to not name the whistleblower. 

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“How am I prevented from asking a question when nobody seems to admit they even know who this person is?” he said. My point is by having such protection, such overzealous protection, we don’t get to the root of the matter of how this started.” 

Paul continued. “When the intelligence community, with all of the power to listen to every phone conversation you have, has political bias and can game the system to go after you, that’s a real worry.”

Paul said his reason for naming the alleged whistleblower was to prevent what he perceived as a plot to take down the president. He made it clear that he was not in favor of any anonymity. “And you say, well we should protect the whistleblower, and the whistleblower deserves anonymity. The law does not preserve anonymity,” Paul said. “His boss is not supposed to say anything about him, he’s not supposed to be fired. I’m for that.”

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