Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday named the suspected Ukraine “whistleblower” during a Senate floor speech as the upper chamber concludes its closing arguments in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
In his remarks, Paul read aloud his question about Eric Ciaramella — the partisan CIA officer whose complaint prompted House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry in September. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert refused to read the question when the Kentucky Republican posed it last week, all but confirming a RealClearInvestigations report alleging that Ciaramella was indeed the “whistleblower.”
The questions reads: “Manager Schiff and Counsel for the President, are you aware that House Intelligence Committee staffer Shawn Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella when at the National Security Council together, and are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings?”
Roberts did not provide any legal reasonings for refusing the read Paul’s question. Breitbart News previously reported that the sole statutory protection for people who submit whistleblower complaints is that the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) may not identify them publicly:
Even left-wing mainstream media outlets—CNN, the New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), and Reuters — determined that, certainly, no law prohibits President Donald Trump or members of Congress from disclosing the name of the leaker who sparked the impeachment inquiry.
In addition to Paul, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have asked President Trump’s legal team if House Intelligence Committee staffers and the “alleged whistleblower were employed by or detailed to the National Security Council during the same time period between January 2017 and the present? Do you have reason to believe they knew each other?”
White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin responded at the time: “the only knowledge that we have, that I have of this, comes from public reports.”
“I gather there is a news report in some publication that suggests a name for the whistleblower, suggests where he worked, that he worked at that time while detailed of the NSC staff for then-vice president Biden and there were others who worked there,” added Philbin.
During Schiff’s recent remarks before the Senate, the California Democrat claimed not to know the “whistleblower” or to have ever communicated with him.
However, as the New York Times reported, the “whistleblower” sought assistance from a House Intelligence Committee staffer with second-hand information regarding President Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky — the basis of a whistleblower complaint.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), one of the president’s staunchest defenders against impeachment, accused Schiff of lying about his contacts with the “whistleblower.”
“Stunning that Adam Schiff lies to millions of Americans when he says he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower,” Stefanik tweeted last week. “He absolutely knows the identity of the whistleblower because he coordinated with the individual before the whistleblower’s complaint! His staff helped write it!”
The Senate on Wednesday is expected to acquit President Trump of two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.