In what could be a first, early this Tuesday evening Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was forced to give Fox News host Bret Baier the Chris Wallace treatment after the host tried to hit him with an easily debunked gotcha’ question.
Speaking with Baier about the ongoing Ukraine non-scandal, Paul argued that the whistleblower’s name should be released publicly for the sake of fairness.
But for reasons that remain unclear, the host appeared to believe that because of the the senator’s longtime praise and support for Obama administration whistleblower Edward Snowden, his current demands make him a hypocrite.
Watch their interaction below:
(Source: Fox News)
“In 2014 … you say this: ‘We’ve got so many many millions of government contractors that when they see something wrong, they should be able to report it without repercussions,'” Baier noted. “Your dad, [former Texas Rep. Ron Paul] says, ‘I think we should praise our whistleblowers’ … adding that people like Edward Snowden should be rewarded. So if those statements are true, why are you doing what you’re doing now?”
“We were defending Edward Snowden, who I still defend, and I think he should have gotten whistleblower status,” the senator replied. “Most of the people defending the current whistleblower wanted to lock up Edward Snowden and hang him … So yes, the whistleblower statue should protect people.”
“Only the whistleblowers that you like?” Baier then asked dismissively in a manner not too dissimilar to how Wallace often frames his gotcha’ questions.
“No, I want Snowden protected so he’s not executed,” Paul said.
“What about this guy?” Baier replied, again trying to draw a connection between Snowden and the current whistleblower.
“I don’t want him executed either,” the senator tried to explain. “I don’t think he should be fired. But I agree with what Lindsey Graham said in your lead-in, and that is that it’s a protection from being fired, it’s not a protection to be anonymous, particularly if it’s going to be a criminal case.”
The Whistleblower Protection Act protects whistleblowers from being terminated for revealing the truth — not from being named.
“Under the WPA, certain federal employees may not take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take; any personnel action against an employee or applicant for employment because of the employee or applicant’s protected whistleblowing,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission explicitly notes.
Similar descriptions of the act are offered by every department and sub-department of the federal government, including the Department of Justice.
Here’s the law. I’m missing the part where they’re granted anonymity, could you please point it out? https://t.co/hEfL4uaaYt
— Quentin Kramer (@QDecoder) November 3, 2019
“Once you have a crime, there is a constitutional protection that you have to confront your accuser,” Paul continued. “There are no exceptions to that. No court in the land will let there be a trial of President Trump without him confronting his accusers.”
“So I’m still for expansive whistleblower protection — you shouldn’t be fired, and this person shouldn’t’ be persecuted or put in jail — but he should come forward like Edward Snowden did, reveal himself and say what he thinks Trump did wrong,” Paul added.
What the senator said about an accused party having the right to confront his accuser is a point that President Donald Trump and his allies have been making as well:
The Whistleblower must come forward to explain why his account of the phone call with the Ukrainian President was so inaccurate (fraudulent?). Why did the Whistleblower deal with corrupt politician Shifty Adam Schiff and/or his committee?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
The Whistleblower got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward. The Fake News Media knows who he is but, being an arm of the Democrat Party, don’t want to reveal him because there would be hell to pay.
Reveal the Whistleblower and end the Impeachment Hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2019
The Fake News Media is working hard so that information about the Whistleblower’s identity, which may be very bad for them and their Democrat partners, never reaches the Public.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2019
The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2019
Earlier in the discussion on FNC, Paul admitted that he personally knows the identity of the whistleblower and may eventually reveal it.
“There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now, other than that I want it 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,” he said.
“Do you know [the name]?” Baier asked.
“Yeah, and the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution says if you accuse me of a crime, I get to stare you down in court,” Paul replied. “That is absolutely part of the Constitution … If there is a trial, you always get to confront your accuser. It’s in the Sixth Amendment and the Bill of Rights.”
“I don’t understand what prevents you from getting on the Senate floor and giving a speech and saying the guy’s name?” the host then asked.
“I can, and I may …,” the senator replied.
Listen to the whole discussion below:
Source: Fox News
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