Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) attempt to ask about the whistleblower whose report helped spark the impeachment inquiry is running into a roadblock in the form of Chief Justice John Roberts.
A source confirmed that Roberts has indicated he would not read a question from Paul regarding the whistleblower at the center of the House impeachment inquiry.
The question from Paul is expected to name the individual. Because Roberts is responsible for reading the questions that would put him in the position of publicly outing the person on the Senate floor.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Republican senator, indicated that leadership had not been involved in rejecting questions, but that he did not expect the whistleblower to be named on the floor during the impeachment trial.
“I don’t think that happens, and I guess I would hope that it doesn’t,” he told reporters.
Conservatives have used a series of questions to try to shed new information on the whistleblower, but none of the questions so far have named the individual.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked for details on who the whistleblower might have worked with.
Roughly 50 minutes later, Cruz, Hawley and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) asked the House managers if the whistleblower worked for or with Joe Biden.
The whistleblower has been a top target for Republicans for months, with Trump saying last year that the individual was “close to a spy.”
Paul also indicated last year that he was willing to disclose the whistleblower’s name, telling reporters that he “probably will.”
“I’m more than willing to, and I probably will at some point. … There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name,” Paul told reporters at the time.