7/ Doxxing a Real Whistleblower, Championing a Fake One
Rand Paul holds the dubious distinction of being the only GOP senator to be thwarted during the first impeachment trial of Donald John Trump. Because Paul’s submitted question included the name of the alleged whistleblower—who was, after all, the prime mover of the entire process—Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read it. A pouting Paul immediately left the chambers, in violation of the rules for the trial, and announced the name to the press. A few days later, during his seditious Senate speech, he stood in front of a placard bearing the alleged whistleblower’s name.
There is some question as to whether it is actually illegal to “doxx” a whistleblower. And, as the former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explained, “Rand Paul is doing this because the Speech or Debate clause of the Constitution shields him from liability for his speech on the Senate floor.” In other words, if he says it on the floor of the Senate, he can’t be sued for defamation.
But there is no question that Paul’s actions were intended as retribution. He seemed dead-set on putting the whistleblower in harm’s way. Given that Paul not that long ago was one of the few Republicans to defend Edward Snowden, the self-styled whistleblower and bona fide traitor, this is particularly rich.