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Rand Paul Explains Rejected Impeachment Question on Senate Floor

Rand Paul Explains Rejected Impeachment Question on Senate Floor

If it was a concentrated effort then the so-called whistleblower isn’t a whistleblower and doesn’t deserve these protections.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) received a lot of criticism about his question that Chief Justice John Roberts rejected during the impeachment trial. Roberts rejected the question because it supposedly names the whistleblower even though people insist no one knows the identity of said whistleblower.

Paul used his allotted time on the Senate floor to explain his question and push back against those who called him a hypocrite.

This is his question: “Are you aware that House intelligence committee staffer Shawn Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while 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.”

Paul is a huge defender of whistleblowers. He called Edward Snowden the greatest whistleblower of this generation.

So why name the supposed whistleblower? Because if it was an orchestrated effort to take down President Donald Trump then he (or she) does not deserve whistleblower protections. It means he (or she) is not a whistleblower.

Paul said we need to know more about the whistleblower to understand how “they gamed the system in order to try to bring down the president.”

Plus, unlike how people view Snowden, Paul isn’t calling for the whistleblower’s head, for him to lose his job, or go to jail. He also never accused either of them being the whistleblower.

Everyone is so uptight about Eric Ciaramella even though everyone says no one knows the identity of the whistleblower.


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It’s a nice attack, showing bad faith at the heart of the impeachment, but beside the point, that Trump did nothing wrong at all. Investigating the 2016 hoaxes in Ukraine is entirely within the president’s job. He can’t, for very good reasons, leave the investigation up to the deep state.

Dershowitz gave the wrong argument. It’s not about mixed motives, or about crimes, but that it’s part of the president’s responsibility to do that.

    Worse. It demonstrates that Roberts is part and parcel to all of this. How does he know the whistle blower’s name? Isn’t he in charge of the FISC? Nobody seems interested in those questions.

      Valerie in reply to Mark. | February 4, 2020 at 5:30 pm

      He’s a Supreme Court Justice, and he’s not going to decide the status of the alleged whistleblower without briefings and findings of facts.

      Milhouse in reply to Mark. | February 5, 2020 at 12:47 am

      No, he’s not in charge of the FISC. His only connection with it is that he appoints its members when their 7-year terms expire.

      And he knows Ciaramella’s name the same way everyone else does.

    Milhouse in reply to rhhardin. | February 4, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    The Dems’ argument was that even if this were so, the President didn’t do it because he was concerned about corruption but because of the personal benefit he stood to gain from an investigation. So Dershowitz’s rebuttal is that at worst it was a mixed motive, and every politician in the world, including all 100 senators, do the same thing.

    But the same could be said of Biden. Even if we do him the courtesy of taking his word for it that his reason for going after Shoken was because he had genuine concerns about corruption, the fact that he stood to gain a personal benefit from Shoken’s firing can’t have been absent from his mind. It must have been at least a factor in his motivation. And if that makes a sitting president’s action impeachable, then a fortiori it disqualifies a candidate from the presidency.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | February 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Based on the Iowa results, Dems might be willing to make that Biden trade right about now.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | February 4, 2020 at 8:28 pm

      The difference is that DJT gets political benefit by demanding a legal process (a Ukrainian investigation under its anti-corruption statutes) and Biden gets political benefit (his son does not make the news for corruption) and payola (even if only in the form of protecting his son’s job) for the pressure he applied (that was arguably meant to stifle and not advance Ukrainian anti-corruption efforts).

      Saying they both did the same thing is like saying birds and bats are the same because they both have wings and fly. Differences make distinctions. Even if we admit that both leveraged the power of their offices for political gain, the differences show that these are two different animals.

        Milhouse in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 5, 2020 at 12:50 am

        Supposing Shoken was actually corrupt (which is not by any means a stretch), pressuring the Ukranians to fire him would have been a good thing. But it was also what Burisma was paying Hunter for — there’s little else they could have been paying for — which makes it at best the same as what Trump did at worst.

        Milhouse in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 5, 2020 at 12:53 am

        Also, firing Shoken was also a “legal process”.

G. de La Hoya | February 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm

I really wanted Waldo Whistleblower and those connected on the stand for examination in front of the American people 🙂

JusticeDelivered | February 4, 2020 at 1:54 pm

I want to see those behind charged, tried and hopefully jailed.

    If an investigation finds that they committed a crime. I’m not sure they did, at least with this Ukraine nonsense. The Russia hoax surely did involve at least some crimes — at least one person is definitely going to be charged, i.e. the FBI agent who altered the warrant application — but not everyone involved committed a crime. Disloyalty to the president is not, in and of itself, a crime.

      Sanddog in reply to Milhouse. | February 4, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      Disloyalty is one thing, using your position and taxpayer funds in order to take down a sitting President because you are so immature you can’t get over losing an election, is another thing.

        Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | February 4, 2020 at 6:12 pm

        It’s still not a crime, though. Those if any who did commit crimes in this disgraceful process should be prosecuted. The rest should just be shamed.

I give several “likes” to Mary’s post and to Sen. Rand’s question. I’ve helped prepare legal documents for whistleblowers, none of whom tried to hide their identities. The game that Schiff’s “whistleblower” and his collaborators are playing reeks of sedition.

Barbara Streistrand is waiving (with all five fingers) at these people and asking, “Miss me yet?”.

I thought Paul’s comments were solid and entirely justified. Just think what happened here. The swamp investigates a candidate and tries to materially affect a U.S. presidential election because they don’t like the candidate who looks like he might win and eventually does win.

This is a big deal. To my knowledge, nothing of this scope has ever happened in a U.S. presidential election. If the parties were reversed, the media would be up in arms.

So I applaud Paul for just telling people what happened.

I am so beaten down by all of this—the Clinton email server, Comey, Huma Abedin, Mueller, Flynn, the FBI, Rosenstein, Weissmann, no arms-length anywhere, ad nausem—that I don’t know what to do. I truly believe that Barr and Durham will do NOTHING to send a signal to these people that if they do something like this and get caught, they WILL be held accountable. Send ’em all to jail. But file that under

That is all.

Paul said we need to know more about the whistleblower to understand how “they gamed the system in order to try to bring down the president.”

Need? They might need to know this if they have plans to do anything about it, but since to all reasonable expectation they don’t, a “need to know more” is just voyeurism.

I object to the word “whistleblower” in this case. I know what a whistleblower is and Ciarmella isn’t one. “Seditious Conspirator” is his proper title. How did this name get started and why do we keep using it?

I am very very unhappy at the idea that an anonymous source who admits no first hand knowledge could even possibly be used to remove an American President.

It is frankly Soviet/Stalin/level to have a trial where the witnesses testified in secret, the defense was not allowed cross examination, all on the basis of an anonymous accusation.

Rand Paul is currently speaking on the Senate floor next to a large placard emblazoned with the name of the whistleblower

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 4, 2020

So you are confirming that’s the whistleblower? May I ask how you know for sure?

— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 4, 2020

Roberts doesn’t seem to have any legal basis for preventing Paul’s question.

As Paul pointed out, the “whistleblower” statue only prohibits the IG from naming him. Everyone else is free to do so. Further, you have to follow the law to qualify as a whistleblower, which Ciaramella absolutely did not. He had no first hand information (a requirement), but merely hearsay. He did not report to the proper authorities but rather, apparently, contacted Schiff’s aides and worked with them on drumming up the impeachment charge.

So, 1) He is not, legally, a “whistleblower” under the statute and 2) even if he were, Paul or anyone other than IG Horowitz is free to name him anytime and anywhere.

Then, of course, as Paul points out also: Trump’s 6th Amendment Right to confront his accuser.

Aside from the “whistleblowing” over the phone call, Ciaramella is a fact witness in this in multiple ways – including hosting a meeting at the WH between Biden and the Ukrainians of Burisma.

Further, Schiff himself outed Ciaramella in a published transcript from the House’s investigation. Supposedly, this was an oversight – that he should have redacted the name. But, that’s just speculation: everyone has access to this published document, and there is Ciaramella’s name plain as day.

Given that the House interviewed him as a witness, and published his name in a transcript, how is Robert’s justified in prohibiting any mention of his name in the trial?

Then, of course, is the issue of how Roberts knew for an absolute fact that Ciaramella is the whistleblower. Did he get instruction on that from the House Managers? Officially, literally no one has admitted to knowing who the “whistleblower” actually is. Really though, everyone knows that Schiff and his aides worked with him in writing up his original complaint. So, again, how did Justice Roberts know to exclude this one individual’s name from being mentioned?

Funny thing is, by doing so, Roberts himself outed him.

The Dems can’t allow the “Whistleblower” to testify because they know that the “Whistleblower” got his information from reading the NYT.