Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he may disclose the name of the whistleblower who raised concerns about President Trump’s contacts with Ukraine, leading to the House impeachment inquiry, The Hill reported.
According to the publication, Paul said he’s “more than willing” to name the unknown individual and “probably will at some point,” adding that there is “no law preventing anybody from saying the name.”
The Kentucky senator also spoke to Fox News’s Bret Baier on Tuesday, again suggesting that he may publicly release the whistleblower’s name.
It came shortly after a Twitter post by the whistleblower’s attorney Andrew Bakaj, which warned his client’s safety would be jeopardized if Congress does not protect his anonymity.
The tweet read: “If Congress and others do not protect my client’s anonymity—which my client is afforded to by 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.”
In response to the tweet, Paul told Baier he doesn’t “wish harm on anyone,” drawing on his own personal experience of being the “victim of political violence,” and noting that he was on a Virginia baseball field in 2017 when a gunman shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La).
He added that he had also been left with six broken ribs after an assault by an individual who “hated President Trump,” saying: “So I know what political violence is all about. I don’t want that at all.”
“There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now other than 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,” Paul added.
When questioned by Baier about why he didn’t go to the Senate floor and give a speech disclosing the name of the alleged whistleblower, Paul said: “I can, and I may, but I can do it right now if I want. Nothing stops me.”
Paul’s comments come just days after he demanded media and lawmakers reveal the identity of the whistleblower and claimed that Congress was aware of the person’s identity.
“We also now know the name of the whistleblower, and the whistleblower needs to come before Congress as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time that Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs,” he said.
During his speech, Paul also called upon Congress to defend the president in the ongoing impeachment investigation, led by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
The investigation is centered on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump is accused by the whistleblower of coercing Zelensky to investigate corruption allegations involving Hunter Biden and his father, Trump’s rival presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The call has also been linked to earlier action by Trump to block millions in military aid from being released to Ukraine.
Paul told the crowd: “President Trump has great courage. He faces down the fake media every day. But Congress needs to step up and have equal courage to defend the president.
“I say this to my fellow colleagues in Congress, to every Republican in Washington, ‘Step up and subpoena Hunter Biden and subpoena the whistleblower!’.”
Meanwhile, Trump has also called for the media to release the name of the whistleblower, saying they would “be doing the public a service” if they disclosed the individual’s identity.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, he said: “They know who it is. You know who it is. You just don’t want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don’t want to report it. You know, you’d be doing the public a service if you did.”