Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was blocked a second time from asking a question of House impeachment managers and defense counsel during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Thursday, so he held a news conference where he read it out loud to the media.
What are the details?
On Wednesday, multiple reports claimed Chief Justice John Roberts — who is presiding over the trial in the upper chamber — blocked a question from Paul because Roberts refused to read the name of the alleged whistleblower whose account of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksi was used as the basis for House Democrats' investigation.
Again on Thursday, Paul's question was blocked. He told the press afterward, "As you may have noticed, we had something slightly atypical downstairs. I asked a question, and the question was refused. Now, it's been reported that this question's about this, or about that, and it's been refused for one reason or another."
"I can tell you," Paul continued, "that my question made no reference to any whistleblower."
Paul read the question aloud, he said, "so it can be made part of the public record":
Manager Schiff and counsel for the president: Are you aware that House Intelligence Committee staffer Sean Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella when at the National Security Council together? 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?
"I think this is an important question, one that deserves to be asked," Paul told reporters. "It makes no reference to anybody who may or may not be a whistleblower."
Paul went on to note that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) claims to have no knowledge of the whistleblower's identity and said if Schiff "has no knowledge, the rest of us can have no knowledge of who the whistleblower is."
Sen. @RandPaul: "My question made no reference to any whistleblower…" He then reads the question. "I think this i… https://t.co/iRsYGdI0Oi— CSPAN (@CSPAN)1580417557.0
RealClearPolitics named Ciaramella as the alleged whistleblower months ago, and Sen. Paul has long called for the media to expose the whistleblower's identity and called for the individual to testify.
But, as the Washington Examiner has reported, while "Republicans and conservative media figures believe CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella, a former official on the National Security Council, is the whistleblower," the identity of the whistleblower has not been confirmed.
H/T: The Daily Caller