Speed Reads

hypocrisy alert

Rand Paul, usual defender of privacy rights, calls on media to out whistleblower

The same Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who has pledged to fight to protect Americans' privacy rights asked the media on Monday night to reveal the identity of the whistleblower whose complaint launched the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Paul made his request while attending President Trump's rally in Lexington, Kentucky, saying to cheers, "Do your job and print his name." Trump appreciated this, calling Paul's comments "excellent."

Under federal law, the identities of government whistleblowers are protected to keep them safe from reprisals. This whistleblower shared concerns about Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Most of the whistleblower's fears and allegations have been corroborated by other witnesses.

It seems odd that Paul would demand the whistleblower's identity be released, considering he's usually the first one to get up and demand civil liberties not be infringed upon. In May 2015, the libertarian-leaning senator said the Republican Party "gets all caught up in the Second Amendment, which is fine, but we don't protect the Fourth Amendment enough. But actually, I think neither party ends up protecting the Fourth Amendment enough, which is the right to privacy." In January 2018, he decried the passage of a surveillance bill in the House, saying, "No American should have their right to privacy taken away."