Sen. Rand Paul named the purported intelligence whistleblower Thursday after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read his question including the name in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.
The conservative Republican left the proceedings to hold an impromptu press conference at which he fingered the person whom right-wing media have named as the CIA operative in the White House who filed a complaint about Trump’s infamous July 25 call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Paul read out his conspiratorial question that Roberts twice refused to read inside the chamber, apparently out of the judge’s respect for federal law protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.
“How do you respond to reports that (the whistleblower worked on a) plot impeaching the President before there were formal house impeachment proceedings,” Paul said, offering the name that some claim is the whistleblower.
Paul claimed he was not seeking to out the whistleblower but was rather concerned about a tangled plot to undermine Trump by supposed adherents of former President Barack Obama.
The whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, declined to comment.
Bradley Moss, a law partner of Zaid, hit back within minutes, calling on Paul to resign.
“This was a brazen dog whistle to the president’s political base and a disgusting breach of political decorum by the senator,” said Moss, stressing that he was not confirming the veracity of the name put forward by Paul.