During the questioning period of the impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts refused the question that Paul sent to the desk. Today, Paul read the question on the Senate floor. The question was refused, presumably, because it contained the identity of the now-infamous “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella. Paul pointed out that Adam Schiff denies knowing who the whistleblower was and no one else knows, including Roberts, so how can his question about Ciaramella be disallowed? Roberts refusal to read the question unintentionally reveals the identity of the whistleblower.
Adam Schiff revealed that he knew that Lt. Col. Vindman knew the whistleblower when Rep. Devin Nunes questioned Col. Vindman in the House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry meeting. Schiff warned Vindman to not answer questions that might reveal the whistleblower, which prompted Nunes to point out that Vindman had already testified in his deposition that he didn’t know who the whistleblower was, so how was it possible to out the whistleblower. Vindman then said he was advised not to testify about anyone in the intelligence community.
Rand Paul’s question
Manager Schiff and counsel for the president, are you aware that House Intelligence Committee staffer Shawn Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella when working at the National Security Council together, 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?
Paul justified asking the question because there had been news articles about their activities. “If six people working together gamed the system to bring down the President, we should know about that. ”
Please watch Senator Paul’s speech here:
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 4, 2020
Paul said Tuesday that he supports protections against reprisal for whistleblowers but not necessarily anonymity.
“In the first month of [Trump’s] office, in January of 2017, they were already plotting the impeachment,” he alleged. “And you say ‘Well, we should protect the whistleblower, and the whistleblower deserves anonymity.’ The law does not preserve anonymity. His boss is not supposed to say anything about him, he’s not supposed to be fired. I’m for that.”
The Democrats want to keep the identity of the whistleblower secret, and the media, the House Democrats, and the Chief Justice have protected his identity so far. But Paul claims that the law provides protection from retaliation and termination, but does not promise anonymity. Perhaps the senator should have sent that question to the Chief Justice. Does the whistleblower law protect the anonymity of the whistleblower?
Secret Courts endanger freedom
The whistleblower is just one piece of the coup. The resistance in the intelligence community also weaponized the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) and FISA warrant process to spy on President Trump. Senator Paul has been warning that the use and abuse of secret courts endanger the liberties of the American people, and now he has real ammunition to demand reforms in the secret FISC since the ICIG report on FISA abuse. Since the revelations of the Horowitz report in December 2019, the DOJ has admitted that two of the FISA warrants granted to spy on President Trump’s campaign aide, Carter Page, lacked probable cause and were therefore illegal. These abuses weren’t just “mistakes,” as sloppy James Comey asserted, but malicious attempts to unseat a duly elected president. Do we need to rehearse how harmful such actions are to the security and peace of the country?
Paul insisted that his question needs to be answered and we need to know how this all started so that it never happens again. Americans should insist that the perpetrators of this unprecedented and dangerous coup be held accountable so that this can never happen again.