11:12 GMT25 January 2020
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    While the identity of the whistleblower who complained about Donald Trump’s alleged abuse of power during a phone call with the Ukrainian president on 25 July, prompting an impeachment probe against the US president remains unknown to the public, Trump and other prominent Republicans continue to call for his name to be revealed.

    1. Whistleblower’s Identity Known
    2. Could the Whistleblower’s Complaint Be Impartial?
    3. Biden Family’s Activity in Ukraine

    Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul said on Tuesday that he “probably will” disclose the name of an anonymous whistleblower whose complaint led to an ongoing impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump, following his telephone conversation with Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, The Hill reported.

    When asked by journalists about why he hadn’t already revealed the name of the purported individual, Paul said that he was “more than willing to” and “probably will at some point”.

    In a Tuesday night interview with Fox News, Paul also doubled down on calls for the whistleblower to come forward, by saying that there was “nothing” preventing him from saying his name, which he “may” disclose, noting that at present he would not in order to avoid making the process about only one individual.

    “There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now”, Paul said during the interview. “Other than that I want it to be more about the process and less about the person. But there's no law that prevents me from mentioning the name of who’s been said to be the whistleblower”.

    When replying to a question by the programme’s host Bret Baier about why he didn't disclose the name as part of his Senate speech Paul said “I can, and I may, but I can do it right now if I want. Nothing stops me. There's no law that stops me from doing it other than that I don't want to make it about the one individual”.   

    Whistleblower’s Identity Known?

    While the whistleblower remains subject to federal protection, Donald Trump, Rand Paul, and some other prominent Republicans have urged reporters to publicly reveal the person’s identity which they claimed to be known by the media, insisting that this would only help the public and allow the president to confront his accuser. 

    “We also now know the name of the whistleblower. The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs”, Paul said during a campaign rally in Kentucky on 4 November.

    In the meantime, the whistleblower’s attorney Mark Zaid has been trying to negotiate with Congress and minority Republicans from the House Intelligence Committee on holding a possible hearing that would still protect the individual’s identity, while insisting on the “nonpartisan” nature of his complaint.

    Could the Whistleblower’s Complaint Be Impartial?

    Both Trump and Paul, however, have maintained that the whistleblower’s complaint remains partisan because he allegedly worked for former Vice President Joe Biden. Paul insisted that this fact undermined the person’s credibility and impartiality.

    “I do think that this individual is a material witness to the potential Biden corruption”, Paul said during the interview with Fox news. “He was there under Joe Biden. He was there when Joe Biden was trying to fire the prosecutor that was investigating Hunter Biden. So this person was a Ukrainian expert on the desk at that time. I think he should be interviewed not as a whistleblower but as a material witness to the Biden corruption in Ukraine”.

    Biden Family’s Activity in Ukraine

    In 2014, former US Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter was appointed to serve on the board of directors in the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, while his father was leading policy on Ukraine during the Obama administration. In 2016, Biden pressured the Ukrainian government, as he later himself boasted, to fire Ukraine’s Special Prosecutor Vyktor Shokin who had earlier launched an anti-corruption probe into Burisma, by urging to withhold financial assistance from the Ukrainian government if Shokin retained his job.

    Shokin’s subsequent dismissal was mentioned during Trump’s 25 July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which prompted the launch of an impeachment inquiry based on the whistleblower’s complaint that the US president had allegedly abused his power by trying to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating a rival politician in exchange for military aid. The allegations were vehemently denied by Donald Trump who released the conversation’s transcript following the launch of the impeachment probe. Zelensky also insisted that he was not “pushed” into anything during their phone call.  

    On 5 November, sworn testimony by the US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was published, in it he alleged that the Trump administration was likely to withhold aid to Ukraine in the absence of its requested investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden. Rand Paul, however, later said that it seemed like both sides had tried to influence military aid to Ukraine in one way or another and going after Trump while ignoring Biden’s alleged corruption in Ukraine was “unfair”.

    Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Volodymyr Zelensky, United States, Ukraine, Rand Paul, Donald Trump
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