KEY POINTS

  • Sen. Paul read the alleged whistleblower's name in the Senate
  • Last week, Justice Roberts censored Paul's question, citing inclusion of the name
  • Paul has long argued that the whistleblower was politically motivated

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., defied Chief Justice John Roberts by reading out the name of the alleged Ukraine whistleblower inside the Senate On Tuesday.

Last week, Roberts declined to read Paul’s question during the question-and-answer phase of the impeachment trial. At the time, Paul left the Senate floor in protest before announcing the alleged whistleblower’s name to reporters and on Twitter.

This week, Paul took his aims to have the name publicly broadcast further by declaring the individual’s name on the Senate floor alongside a poster displaying the name.

Paul has long argued that the whistleblower's potential political motivations should be investigated. Republicans, in general, have claimed that the impeachment of President Donald Trump has been a partisan attack by Democrats from the beginning.

In response to criticism for publicly stating the name, Paul told CNN’s Manu Raju that due to Robert’s decision to not read the question last week “he’s sort of confirming to the public who it is.”

After Paul’s Senate floor walk out last week, the hashtag #ArrestRandPaul trended on Twitter, with users accusing the senator of breaking the law. By sharing the alleged whistleblower’s name with the public, Paul may have violated the Whistleblower Protection Act, some users argued.

This week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he had been talking with other Republicans about the next moves to take following the conclusion of the impeachment trial. Among those moves would be subpoenaing the alleged whistleblower for testimony. Like Paul, Graham believes the whistleblower may have made the complaint as a political attack on Trump. “I wanna know how all this crap started,” Graham said.

Last year, an anonymous individual in the intelligence community filed an internal whistleblower complaint accusing the president of pushing for a probe in Ukraine into his political rivals as a condition for releasing military aid. This eventually served as the foundation for the impeachment of Trump, a process that concludes this week as the Senate votes on whether or not to convict. The Republican-controlled chamber is expected to vote to acquit.

Rand_Paul U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spoke out about women on Twitter Wednesday. He is pictured speaking during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina, Sept. 18, 2015. Photo: Reuters/Chris Keane