“Ultimately, if someone’s going to accuse you of something that’s going to bring down a presidency, I think we deserve to know who that person is,” Paul said while speaking to local leaders at the Purchase Area Development District building on Oct. 1, reported WPSD Local 6.
“Our criminal justice system is usually predicated upon: if I accuse you of something, I’ve got to show up in court and accuse you of it. So, I think there are reasons to have whistleblower statutes and have anonymity. If you’re accusing somebody of something with the ramifications of impeachment, I think really the person ought to come forward,” he added.
This comes after Trump said he wanted to meet the whistleblower who is at the center of an impeachment inquiry against the president. House Democrats launched the inquiry last week after accusing him of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into former Vice President Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and withholding military aid to the country if Ukraine did not comply with the request.
But the transcript, which was released to the public last week, revealed that Trump had actually asked Zelensky to look into Crowdstrike. Crowdstrike is a technology firm that was hired by the Democratic National Committee, to probe what happened to its computer network after an alleged hack. Trump also brought up how Biden admittedly pressured then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to oust a prosecutor in charge of the probe into Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where Biden’s son was a board member. It also did not show any quid pro quo as alleged.
After Trump’s Twitter posts about wanting to meet his accuser, congress members from both sides of the aisle came out to express their support to uphold the law to protect the identity of the whistleblower.
Earlier today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in the press conference that the whistleblower’s identity must be protected as stipulated under the law.
“The whistleblower has the right under statute to remain anonymous,” Schiff told reporters. “And we will do everything in our power to make sure that that whistleblower is protected that that whistleblower’s preferences in terms of their anonymity are respected.”
Similarly, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Oct. 1 that he thinks the whistleblower “ought to be heard out and protected.”
“This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected. We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement.
Trump doubled down on his comments on Oct. 2, saying that he believes a whistleblower should only be protected “if the whistleblower is legitimate.” The whistleblower said in their complaint that they had heard the information from multiple White House officials.
He also said the person who gave the whistleblower the information should also be identified.
“[The whistleblower] wrote a vicious conversation [in the complaint]. In other words, he either got it totally wrong, made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistleblower was dishonest,” Trump told reporters. “This country has to find out who that person was because that person is a spy, in my opinion.”
Reports about the complaint and allegation surrounding the call prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president, where she alleged the president had seriously violated the constitution.
House Democrats are moving forward with the inquiry in recent days, by issuing subpoenas to State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Additionally, they have asked five state department officials to appear for depositions including former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and recently resigned Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker.
Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.