‘This is a blatant and intentional violation The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) After vowing last week that he would “insist” on acknowledging publicly the identity of presumed whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, Sen. Rand Paul finally got his 15 minutes on Tuesday.
With all senators allotted speaking time on the Senate floor prior to Wednesday’s scheduled impeachment vote, Paul read the question that Chief Justice John Roberts had refused to read, naming Ciaramella.
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
Left-wingers flipped out on social media, with many calling for Paul to be arrested in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Rand Paul just read the alleged whistleblower’s name on the Senate floor.
This is a blatant and intentional violation The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12.
— Travis | Text FIGHT to 24477 (@travisakers) February 4, 2020
Paul, however, indicated that since he does not have any privileged information to confirm the whistleblower’s identity and was operating purely on speculation, it does not violate the law.
That would leave open the possibility, perhaps, of a defamation lawsuit if Ciaramella could prove in court that it was false and that he suffered damages as a result of the alleged slander, although different rules govern the statements government officials make in the course of their public duties.
Notwithstanding, Ciaramella’s name has been circulated for months since the whistleblower complaint was filed with the inspector general of the intelligence community.
Despite acknowledging at times—and perjuriously denying at others—that he knew the identity of the whistleblower and that his staff had met with the individual, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead House impeachment manager, used the whistleblower protections as pretense to suppress testimony that was damaging to Democrats’ politically motivated efforts during the House investigation.
Republicans said that if additional witnesses were subpoenaed in the Senate trial, the whistleblower would be one of the first among them and questioned why classified testimony from Inspector General Michael Atkinson had been withheld from them despite all having security clearances.
Schiff and others coyly maintained that there was a fear of leaking the name, but Paul’s argument upended that line of defense, using it to give himself plausible deniability while spreading the widely circulated name.
Although Senate Democrats’ attempt to call additional witnesses during the trial was ultimately defeated, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that it would be launching an investigation into its House counterpart, headed by Schiff, and the role the congressman played in orchestrating the whistleblower complaint.