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Justice Roberts Blocks Rand Paul from Naming Whistleblower During Impeachment Trial

John Roberts testifies at his confirmation hearing to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, September 14, 2005. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts signaled to Republican senators Wednesday that he will not say the name of the alleged Ukraine whistleblower during the question and answer session of the Senate impeachment trial.

Roberts refused to read aloud a question submitted by Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) that contained the whistleblower’s name. The justice is tasked with reading questions submitted by senators, and Paul’s question was the first to contain the name of the alleged whistleblower.

“We’ve got members who, as you have already determined I think, have an interest in questions related to the whistleblower,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R., S.D.) told Politico. “But I suspect that won’t happen. I don’t think that happens. And I guess I would hope it doesn’t.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has also reportedly cautioned against naming the whistleblower during impeachment proceedings. Paul, however, has said the name in several media reports over the course of the impeachment process.

“I don’t want to have to stand up to try and fight for recognition,” Paul reportedly said after his question was rejected.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) publicly revealed the existence of the whistleblower complaint in September, a complaint that eventually led to the impeachment of President Trump. Republicans have accused Schiff of improperly coordinating his actions with the whistleblower.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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