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Roberts refuses to read Sen. Rand Paul's impeachment question that named alleged whistleblower

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 14:00:12-05

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read a question posed by Sen. Rand Paul during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial Thursday that would have revealed the alleged name of the whistleblower that sparked an investigation into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

After Roberts refused to read the question, Paul reportedly left the chamber.

Roberts, who by law is required to preside over the Senate impeachment trial, has said throughout the impeachment process that he will not reveal the name of the person who submitted an anonymous whistleblower complaint and touched off a House investigation into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

According to CNN, Paul planned to submit a question that would have explicitly named the alleged whistleblower. After granting Paul the chance to ask a question, Roberts chose not to read it aloud and instead moved on.

"The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted," Roberts said.

ABC News reports Paul left the chamber afterward. According to decorum guidelines passed for impeachment by Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, "senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings.

Paul later tweeted a copy of his question, which included the name of the alleged whistleblower.

Government employees who come forward with allegations of government illegality, waste and corruption are protected by law, and their identities remain anonymous.

Earlier this month, Paul called for the media to release the alleged name of the whistleblower at a rally for Trump in Lexington.