The Jury Talks Back

11/6/2019

Doing Trump’s Bidding: Sen. Rand Paul Demands Media Name The Whistleblower

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:55 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From Reason:

President Donald Trump “has great courage” and “faces down the fake media every day,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) on Monday. At a Trump 2020 rally in Lexington, Kentucky, Paul called upon media to out the whistleblower who first raised objections about Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Paul also asked colleagues in Congress to make both the whistleblower and Joe Biden’s son Hunter testify.

“We also now know the name of the whistleblower,” said Paul. “I say tonight to the media, ‘Do your job and print his name!’ And I say this to my fellow colleagues in Congress, to every Republican in Washington, ‘Step up and subpoena Hunter Biden and subpoena the whistleblower!'”

It’s weird hearing “Libertarian” Rand Paul demand that the media make a whistleblower’s identity public. But as we’ve repeatedly seen, when a politician throws their lot in with Trump, there are certain expectations that come with staying in his good graces, including making compromises one would not have previously considered. Basically: Rand Paul today is not the same Rand Paul of 2014, when he worked hard to support and defend whistleblowers:

Paul himself was once a more robust defender of whistleblowers and advocated expanding protections for them. Back in 2014, Paul told a Campaign for Liberty conference audience that he was considering ways to “expand the whistleblower statute to government contractors,” not just employees. “We’ve got so many millions of government contractors that when they see something wrong, they should be able to report it without repercussions,” he said.

Yet today’s Rand Paul voted against a resolution designed to protect the whistleblower by keeping their identity a secret:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution Wednesday reaffirming the Senate’s support for whistleblower protections and accused Democrats of “fake outrage.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) had asked for unanimous consent to pass the resolution, which “acknowledges the contributions of whistleblowers” and throws the chamber’s support behind protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.

“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 said[…]…

Paul objected to passing the resolution after Democrats refused to drop their resolution and instead pass whistleblower legislation that he introduced earlier that day.

“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.

He argued that his legislation would “make clear” that President Trump should be able to face his accuser. The measure also would expand current whistleblower protections for contractors.

“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.

At the end of the day, Paul doesn’t have a problem with naming the whistleblower himself, if the media fails to do so:

Asked on Tuesday why he hasn’t disclosed the name of the individual, Paul told reporters that he “probably will.”

“I’m more than willing to, and I probably will at some point,” he said. “There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name.”

–Dana

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