MAYFIELD, KY — Sen. Rand Paul was in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Tuesday to speak to local leaders at the Purchase Area Development District building.
A asked the senator for his thoughts on the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. At the center of the inquiry is a whistleblower complaint that includes claims about a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Hunder Biden's membership on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
Paul said the whistleblower needs to step forward, because of the effects an impeachment inquiry can have.
"Ultimately, if someone's going to accuse you of something that's going to bring down a presidency, I think we deserve to know who that person is," said Paul. "Our criminal justice system is usually predicated upon: if I accuse you of something, I've got to show up in court and accuse you of it. So, I think there are reasons to have whistleblower statutes, and have anonymity. If you're accusing somebody of something with the ramifications of impeachment, I think really the person ought to come forward."
In a CNN poll, 47% of respondents believed the president should be impeached, 45% said he shouldn't, and 8% didn't have an opinion. Paul said he sees the public reacting differently.
"I think the people, or the public, are going to say 'Really? Are we going to impeach the president for something, it appears, both sides are doing?' So I don't think it's going to go anywhere. I think it's going to be perceived by the public as a partisan thing," Paul said.
He also questioned whether it's appropriate for the public to have access to the president's phone calls.
"I do think that one of the things that's been lost in all of this is: Do we really want to listen to all of the president's phone calls? Should we be listening to all of the president's phone calls? And should we then be making them public because we disagree with something he said in the phone call?" Paul said.
The senator told me he doesn't believe the president did anything illegal. Paul will be in Paducah Wednesday to speak to the Rotary Club at the Carson Center, and he'll leave the area on Thursday.