Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Roberts declines to read impeachment question from Rand Paul

Chief Justice John Roberts again declined Thursday to read a question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during the question-and-answer portion of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The big picture: Paul attempted to include the alleged name of the Ukraine whistleblower in his questions on Wednesday, CNN reported. When beginning Thursday's proceedings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised Roberts a "level of consideration" in reading the questions out loud — an apparent dig at Paul.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The chief justice has attempted to remain an unbiased arbitrator throughout this process. His decision to shoot down Paul's attempts to publicly name the whistleblower on the Senate floor infuriated Paul, who then violated Senate rules by leaving the trial and holding a press conference, but were in line with McConnell and other top GOP leaders who were against revealing the whistleblower's identity.

Go deeper: The daily highlights from Trump's impeachment trial

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Rand Paul reads alleged name of Ukraine whistleblower on Senate floor

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the alleged name of the Ukraine whistleblower on the Senate floor as senators debated President Trump's impeachment on Tuesday.

The state of play: Paul read aloud his question that named the alleged whistleblower — and had an accompanying poster that also included the name — which Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read during the impeachment trial last week.

YouTube removes clip of Rand Paul reading alleged name of Ukraine whistleblower on Senate floor

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

YouTube removed a video of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reading the alleged name of the Ukraine whistleblower on the Senate floor as senators debated President Trump's impeachment earlier this month, Politico reports.

The state of play: The Kentucky senator has been at the forefront of the push to name the whistleblower for months — a fight that triggered a schism between Trump allies and moderates in the GOP.

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 9: Alexander sets up speedy acquittal

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senators ended their two-day question-and-answer period on Thursday, the ninth day of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The state of play: The biggest news happened off the Senate floor, as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced after the session that he'd oppose calling additional witnesses. With that key swing vote off the table for Democrats, it sets up the president for a speedy acquittal — perhaps as early as late Friday night.