Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday blocked a resolution that would reaffirm the importance of whistleblower protections. The consent had to be unanimous and was requested by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono.
Instead of a show vote, Paul suggested Schumer and Hirono take a vote on the legislation he had passed earlier. Democrats refused, and so he refused to support their vote.
“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 suggested.
Paul’s proposed legislation would reiterate something that he’s been saying since the beginning of this whole dog-and-pony show: President Trump should be able to face the accuser whose complaint launched the impeachment inquiry.
“The bill I will introduce today will expand the whistleblower act [and] would be made retroactive so Edward Snowden can come home to live in his own country,” Paul declared. “All he did was expose that his government was not obeying the Constitution.”
While Hirono admitted that she hadn’t read Paul’s bill as she had just received it, she did note with some horror a provision that would apply the 6th amendment right to a timely and public trial to the president’s impending impeachment hearings.
This move comes after Paul’s fiery speech at a Trump campaign rally stop in Kentucky, where the senator demanded that the media officially print the name of the whistleblower “because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time that Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs.”
(Source: Fox News)
Following this excited proclamation was an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, who pushed Paul on the idea that the media should take the lead in outing the whistleblower, and suggested the senator was a hypocrite for his glowing praise of Snowden.
As BizPac Review reported yesterday, Baier tried to unfairly assume that Paul only wants protections for whistleblowers he likes, meanwhile Paul merely wants the same standards and protections applied to all who come out against the government.
“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.”
Baier suggested that if Paul wants to name the whistleblower so badly, he should do it himself.
“There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now,” Rand pointed out, “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.”
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