Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) revealed on Tuesday that he may reveal the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower while speaking to a group of reporters and then doubled down on it later in the evening during an appearance on Fox News.
“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.
CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux, apparently upset over the fact that Paul wanted transparency in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, aggressively confronted Paul over the issue.
“The whistleblower laws they protect the whistleblower,” Malveaux said. “You know it’s illegal to out a whistleblower?”
Paul immediately corrected her, saying, “Actually, you see you’ve got that wrong.”
“No, we don’t,” Malveaux falsely claimed as she became agitated.
Paul then proceeded to educate Malveaux on the laws surrounding the whistleblower.
Question: "The whistleblower laws protect the whistleblower. You know it's illegal to out a whistleblower?"
— The Hill (@thehill) November 5, 2019
Paul later appeared on Fox News’ “Special Report” with host Bret Baier, who asked Paul: “I referenced that tweet moments ago, Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s attorney, ‘If Congress and others do not protect my client’s anonymity, which my client is afforded by the law, not only does it jeopardize their safety, but it jeopardizes an entire system that took decades to build. It will destroy effective Congressional oversight for years to come.’ Your response to that?”
Paul responded, “You know, I don’t wish harm on anyone. I’ve been the victim of political violence not once, but twice. I was there at the ballfield when Steve Scalise was almost killed. A staff member was 10 feet from me, who was shot. I had six of my ribs broken by a hater of President Trump. So, I know what political violence is all about. I don’t want that, at all. But the report was — not correct, in the sense that the statute says the Inspector General can’t reveal the name. It says the president should enforce the law, but the person you quoted was disingenuous in what they were saying. The statute says the Inspector General can’t reveal the name. There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now, other than that I wanted to be more about the process and less about the person. But there’s no law that prevents me from mentioning the name of who’s been said to be the whistleblower. But there’s also –
“But are you convinced you know?” Baier pressed.
“Yeah. And there’s something important, also. It’s called the Constitution. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution says if you are going to accuse me of a crime, I get to stare you down in court,” Paul continued. “That is absolutely part of the Constitution. The statute might say one thing, but, I promise you, if there is a trial, you always get to confront your accuser. It’s in the Sixth Amendment. It’s in the Bill of Rights. There’s no way they can stop the defense from asking for that.”
“But I can do [reveal the identity of the whistleblower] right now, if I want. Nothing stops me. There is no law that stops me from doing it, other than that I don’t want to make it about the one individual,” Paul continued. “But I would say this: I do think that this individual is a material witness to the potential Biden corruption. He was there under Joe Biden. He was there when Joe Biden was trying to fire the prosecutor that was in — that was investigating Hunter Biden. So, this person was a Ukrainian expert on the desk, at that time. I think he should be interviewed, not as the whistleblower, but as a material witness to the Biden corruption in Ukraine.”