By: Jeffrey Winograd
At the outset of the Senate’s second day of impeachment-related questions and answers, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) submitted the first question from the Republican side and it related to the whistleblower who complained about President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Zelenskyy on July 25, 2019.
After perusing the question, Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the impeachment trial, stated he “declines to ask the question as submitted.”
Roberts reportedly has signaled he will not allow the naming of the alleged whistleblower or any question seeking details that might lead to the whistleblower’s identity.
Here are the contents of two tweets Sen. Paul transmitted in the immediate aftermath of Chief Justice Roberts’ refusal.
“My question is not about a “whistleblower” as I have no independent information on his identity. My question is about the actions of known Obama partisans within the NSC and House staff and how they are reported to have conspired before impeachment proceedings had even begun.”
“My exact question is: Are you aware that House intelligence staffer [redacted] had a close relationship with [redacted] while at the National Security Council together?”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the lead House impeachment manager, on Jan. 29 refused to answer a probing question regarding the entire whistleblower affair. It was a blanket refusal cloaked in a lecture on the importance of protecting everything and everyone related to intelligence.
Disturbing facts about whistleblower affair
- The alleged whistleblower was not entitled to file a claim because he did not have first-hand knowledge about the July 25 Trump-Zelenskyy phone call. Why did the Intelligence Community inspector general permit the submission of the complaint?
- The Intelligence Community inspector general reportedly changed the form which allowed the whistleblower to submit a complaint and first-hand knowledge was no longer required. Why did the inspector general take such an action?
- Rep. Schiff allegedly lied about his knowledge of the whistleblower’s identity and/or interaction with Schiff’s committee staff. Is Schiff believable?
- The alleged whistleblower has personal and professional relationships with a specific Schiff staffer. Is this not a sensitive matter requiring a public explanation?
- The Intelligence Community inspector general was deposed by the House Intelligence Community and Schiff slapped a “secret” classification on the transcript. What is Schiff afraid of?
It would seem that since the Senate is sitting as a court and Roberts is the presiding judge, he could have called a sidebar to instruct Sen. Paul on how to rephrase his question.
Why didn’t you, Chief Justice Roberts?