Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) attempted to expose the alleged name of the whistleblower who triggered Donald Trump’s impeachment by putting his name on a sign on the Senate floor Tuesday.
As Paul argued against removing Trump from office, he included the name as part of an attempt to allege a “plot” targeting Trump.
Paul’s outing attempt comes just a day after fellow Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), warned against such attacks.
“Attempts by anyone to oust a whistleblower just to sell an article or score a political point—those are not helpful at all. It’s not the treatment any whistleblower deserves,” Grassley said.
Mark Zaid, the lawyer for the person named by Republicans as the whistleblower, has previously warned that attempts to expose his client could expose him to harm.
“Identifying any name for the whistleblower will simply place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm,” Zaid told CNN in November, after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out a story from a pro-Trump site that published the alleged name.
Despite the warning, Republicans have tried to expose the individual as part of their efforts to defend Trump and oppose his removal from office.
In November, Paul called on the media to expose the whistleblower. “I say tonight to the media: do your job and print his name,” he said before a Republican campaign rally.
The demand was described as “very responsible” by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump’s most prominent and ardent defenders.
During the Senate impeachment trial in January, Paul made other attempts to publicize the name. Despite a warning from Chief Justice John Roberts that he would not read questions with the name, Paul submitted a question with the name. Roberts declined to read it out loud.
At a press conference right after his question was blocked, Paul again used the name.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.