Rand Paul Blocks Senate Resolution Backing Whistleblower Protections
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) accused Democrats of “fake outrage” on Wednesday as he blocked a resolution that would reaffirm Senate support for whistleblower protections, according to The Hill.
The resolution was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who had asked for unanimous consent to pass it, and was a direct response to those — like Paul — who have called for the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower to be made public.
"The threats we have seen over the last few days are so egregious they demand bipartisan outrage from one end of this chamber to the other, whether you're a Democrat, Republican, independent, liberal, moderate or conservative," Schumer said. "What's happening here is another erosion of the values of this republic for political expediency."
Paul objected to passing the resolution, The Hill said, after Democrats refused to pass whistleblower legislation he had introduced earlier on Wednesday.
"I support whistleblowers, and I do think they have a role to play in keeping government accountable ... but what we have seen over the last few years is that we have a system that we should continue to refine," Paul said.
But Democrats said they had not received the bill with enough time to read it, and at least one provision proved a sticking point: it would “make clear” that President Donald Trump should be able to face his accuser, Paul said.
Hirono said Paul’s measure “was just dropped on my lap literally just now” and that she was “flabbergasted” by his suggestion of applying the Sixth Amendment to impeachment proceedings.
"Come forward, but we're going to out you, subject you to threats, intimidation, retaliation," she said, describing the effect of the provision.
Paul told reporters on Tuesday that he will likely release the name of the whistleblower who claims Trump engaged in an abuse of power in pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political opponent.
"I'm more than willing to, and I probably will at some point," he said. "There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name."