Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked a Senate resolution aimed at keeping the identity of the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry a secret.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced a resolution saying that has “a duty” to protect the identity of whistleblowers.
“In normal times we would be protecting the whistleblower,” Hirono said. “That is what this resolution does.”
“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 also stated on the Senate floor. “What’s happening here is another erosion of the values of this republic for political expediency.”
Paul has said that he could disclose the name of the whistleblower, saying there is no law that prevents anyone from doing so.
“The outrage we see here is selective outrage,” Paul said, according to the Washington Examiner. “And it is because [Democrats] are intent on removing Trump from office and will use whatever means they can to do it.”
Under the rules of the Senate, any senator can attempt to pass a resolution or a bill, but any senator can object and block its passage.
“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.
Trump and his Republican allies have said that the president should have the ability to confront his accuser, including learning about political biases.
“The whistleblower should be called because he is making accusations against the president,” Paul said.
Paul then proposed his own legislation that would “make clear” that President Trump should be able to face his accuser.
“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. All he did was expose that his government was not obeying the Constitution,” Paul said, according to the Hill.
The whistleblower made a complaint about a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The person was not on the call but was told about it by someone else.
According to The Hill, Paul was asked about the identity of the whistleblower.
“I’m more than willing to, and I probably will at some point,” he said earlier in the day of revealing the person’s identity. “There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name.”
Meanwhile, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said the whistleblower should come forward and testify under oath.
“I think the whistleblower should come forward to testify—in-person, under oath,” he told Fox News. “So people can then assess the credibility, the believability [and] can challenge the whistleblower.”
“This is not something that needs to be done through emails or behind an attorney,” Barrasso continued. “It needs to be done in person under oath.”