Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has spent a career using speeches on the Senate floor building a reputation as a maverick among Republicans on Capitol Hill.
But it was a question he never got to ask Thursday during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate that’s putting Paul’s name in the headlines now.
At issue was the bizarre, continuing insistence by Democratic impeachment managers like Rep. Adam Schiff that they do not know the identity of the “whistleblower” whose accusations kicked off the whole impeachment effort.
Yet at the same time they continue to try to keep one particular name from being uttered aloud.
On Thursday afternoon, Chief Justice John Roberts tried to continue the conspiracy of silence, but Paul would not be stopped from speaking out.
The matter rose to a head when Paul — who had clashed with Roberts on the subject Wednesday, according to Fox News — submitted a written question containing the name of Eric Ciaramella, the former National Security Council aide who is widely believed to be the “whistlelower” who complained about Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Though the question was directed to both the House impeachment managers and the president’s defense team, it struck to the heart of the prosecution’s ginned-up case against Trump.
As Paul described it in a Twitter post: “My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings.”
He then tweeted what he said was the full question — complete with Ciaramella’s name:
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. 2/2
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 30, 2020
Rand Paul fighting the deep state! @RhettOctober