On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts read more than 80 questions that had been submitted to him by lawmakers in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. That included questions that were long enough to include whole right-wing conspiracy theories and multiple questions that included the names of people who appear in no document in the whole investigation, but whom Republicans accuse of being involved in a conspiracy involving John Bolton and the whistleblower.
But there was one question that Roberts refused to read—a question from Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, who intentionally placed in his question the name that right-wing publications have insisted is that of the whistleblower. Roberts refused to read the question. And today Paul is going to do it again.
From the very beginning, the whistleblower made it clear that he or she was not a firsthand witness to events but had only been told about actions that were reasons for concern. Based on that information, the whistleblower raised those concerns with the intelligence community inspector general. Then, following the strict instructions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, the whistleblower contacted a specific staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, who instructed the whistleblower in the next appropriate step.
All of this is defined by law. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff has made it clear that he did not meet with the whistleblower. He has made it clear that he does not know the whistleblower’s name. He has also made it clear that his staff did not assist in preparing the whistleblower’s complaint or provide any research to the whistleblower, or offer any assistance whatsoever beyond the instructions that are required by the law—a law that has, in the past, been strongly supported by Republicans.
There is no evidence, none whatsoever, that Schiff or anyone on his staff did the slightest thing wrong in regard to the whistleblower.
There is no evidence, none whatsoever, that the whistleblower took any step that was not strictly legal, strictly moral, and strictly out of concern for the nation.
There is absolutely no doubt that what Rand Paul is doing is petty, vile, mean-spirited, and definitively evil, with no intent but to bring harm to an individual who acted entirely within the law.
On Thursday, Paul has already declared that he is going to do it again. And if what he accomplishes from this is the ruin of someone who was doing their best for the nation—or the ruin of someone who is not the whistleblower, since the name Paul is using came from no official source—he’s perfectly okay with that.