Rand Paul demanded Wednesday that the “whistleblower” linked to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry should be pulled in for testimony, and used his actual name, becoming the first Senator to publicly do so.
Paul warned a week ago that he would release the name, and made good on the promise, saying that CIA officer Eric Ciamerella is a “person of interest” who should be brought before Congress as a “material witness” in the impeachment inquiry.
When asked by radio host Vince Coglianese “Is it your understanding, Senator, that Eric Ciaramella is the whistleblower?” Paul replied “I think Eric Ciaramella needs to be pulled in for testimony and then, I think, it will be ultimately determined at that point.”
“I think he is a person of interest in the sense that he was at the Ukraine desk when Joe Biden was there, when Hunter Biden was working for the Ukrainian oligarch. So simply for that alone, I think he’s a material witness that needs to be brought in.” Paul continued.
“The other question is, while the whistleblower is protected from being fired and from retaliation and, I think, from court proceedings, the whistleblower is not protected from being asked who gave him information. Because we can’t have a country where the private contents of the president’s phone calls are leaked to people who are not supposed to be in that loop. And so I think all these questions have to be asked.” Paul also said.
The Senator also noted that the whistleblower statute was not intended to “have criminal trials of people and people put before the penalty of criminal justice without being able to hear from their accusers.”
Paul warned that Adam Schiff, who refuses to even acknowledge he knows who the whistleblower is, will attempt to prevent Ciaramella from testifying.
Schiff claims he "does not know the identity of the whistleblower." pic.twitter.com/HdDQGmHwv8
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 13, 2019
Schiff’s staff knew about the whistleblower’s report before it was filed. Paul said he wants answers about Ciaramella’s ties to the Democratic Party and Schiff in particular.
“In the Senate, I will be advocating — if it comes to the Senate, we haven’t had a vote yet on what the rules will be. By a simple majority, we can make the rules in the Senate and we should make the rules such that the president is allowed to call all his witnesses. And then, ultimately, it is up to the president. He needs to call and tell us who he wants to have brought in as witnesses.” Paul urged.