The impeachment hearing was destined to become a knock down drag out fight the moment the Russian narrative was born.
That’s right, this started with the Russian narrative. As the trial goes through the motions, we learn that the whistleblower is tied to the Russian leaker, as they are one in the same. Thus, it’s no surprise that Republican senators question the relationship between House Manager Adam Schiff and this person.
In fact, it seems to be integral information in the impeachment process. Thus, it’s quite surprising when Justice John Roberts blocked a question seeking to define this puzzling relationship.
As The Hill explains:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday will try to force Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to read out loud a question regarding the anonymous whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
Paul’s strategy, outlined on Twitter by his spokesman, will escalate a standoff between the two men on the Senate floor after much behind-the-scenes haggling.
“Senator Paul will insist on his question being asked during today’s trial. Uncertain of what will occur on the Senate floor, but American people deserve to know how this all came about,” Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul, tweeted.
Paul’s office indicated in a subsequent release that they were unsure whether the effort would be successful. But, as they said “Paul believes it is crucial the American people get the full story on what started the Democrats’ push to impeach President Donald Trump.”
A source confirmed Wednesday that Roberts has indicated he would not read a question from Paul regarding the whistleblower.
The question from Paul is expected to name the individual. Because Roberts is responsible for reading the questions aloud, that would put him in the position of publicly outing the person on the floor of the Senate.
The Cat’s Already Out of the Bag
It’s odd that Justice Roberts seems so determined to protect the identity of the so-called whistleblower. Especially given that several media sites published his name, and based on this man’s actions, he’s not actually a whistleblower. A better name would be ‘anti-Trump operative” or as President Trump said, “close to a spy.”
Both RealClear Investigations and The Gateway Pundit, among others, named Eric Ciaramella as the so-called whistleblower. Nevertheless, Justice Roberts refused to read a pertinent question intended to shed new information on the situation.
The Hill Continues:
None of those questions revealed the individual’s identity.
Paul Pushes Back
Justice Roberts skipped Paul’s question, but he didn’t silence the senator. Instead, Paul took his inquiry to Twitter.
The Federalist elaborates:
“My exact question was: Are you aware that House intelligence committee staffer Shawn Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together,” Paul stated, “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 said his question was not in regard to the whistleblower’s ID, but about whether leftover partisan Obama officials conspired with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, now the head impeachment manager in the Senate, to devise an impeachment scheme prior to the beginning of the proceedings.
“My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings,” Paul tweeted. “My question is not about a ‘whistleblower’ as I have no independent information on his identity.”
It’s quite interesting that Democrats want to add additional testimony and witnesses, but only if it seems to work to their advantage. As soon as a piece of evidence points in Trump’s favor, it’s somehow deemed unworthy of public consumption.
As the Federalist points out:
In the case of Roberts blocking Paul’s question, a broader issue looms about the equity of an unelected judge brazenly censoring an elected representative in the discharge of his senatorial duties.
Paul, who during his time in the Senate has often broken with Trump on policy, has backed the president on impeachment, telling Politico he would force the upper chamber to vote on Trump’s preferred witnesses, including Hunter Biden and Ciaramella, if four or more of his fellow Senate Republicans sided with Democrats in calling for new witnesses.
“My first preference would be to be done with it as soon as possible. And not to have any witnesses,” Paul said. “If they insist on having people like [John] Bolton coming forward, my insistence will be not just one witness. But that the president should be able to call any witnesses that he deems necessary to his defense.”
By tomorrow, this could all be a moot point. By most reports, McConnell managed to close ranks within the GOP. Now, conservatives hold the numbers to both prevent the witnesses and move towards acquittal. Thus, Democrats will simultaneously lose both the impeachment and the election.
In other words, checkmate.