Sen. Rand Paul Reminds Americans, We Don’t Live in Venice—We Have a Constitution
Nov. 6, 2019 (EIRNS)—Sen. Rand Paul sent the impeachment crowd—and those Republican Senators bowing before it—into outer orbit yesterday, when he said he is “more than willing to, and ... probably will at some point” name the whistleblower whose hearsay was used to set off “Ukrainegate.” Paul told Fox News last night that he has not done so yet, because, “I want it to be more about the process and less about the person,” but “there’s no law that stops me from doing it.”
Asked by a reporter in the hallways of Congress about his Republican colleagues’ fury over what they call an
“irresponsible and dangerous” idea, Senator Paul stopped, turned to her, and replied: “You’ve heard of the Constitution, right? The Constitution has the Sixth Amendment. And the Sixth Amendment says very clearly that if you are accused of a crime, you have the right to confront your accuser. So I think the Constitution is very clear on this, and I don’t think we should completely throw away the Constitution just because certain networks don’t like the President.”
He added in a tweet the same day, that under our Constitution, no one can be sent to die in the imperial dungeons on a whim, as occurred in Venice:
“Enshrined in the 6th Amendment is the right to confront your accuser. 15th century Doges allowed anonymous allegations inserted in the mouth of the lion to convict the innocent with gossip.
“In recent centuries, common law tradition and our very own Bill of Rights require accusers to appear face to face.
“Advice from Mark Twain re: the Bocca di Leone of Venice: ‘These were the terrible Lions’ Mouths ... these were the throats, down which went the anonymous accusation, thrust in secretly at dead of night by an enemy, that doomed many an innocent man to walk the Bridge of Sighs and descend into the dungeon which none entered and hoped to see the sun again.’ ”
(The “Bocca di Leone,” or Lion’s Mouth in Venice was a sort of stone mailbox, which were placed around the city for persons to deposit anonymous accusations, thereby causing the accused individual to be disappeared forever.)
Today, Paul upped the ante, blocking passage of a unanimous consent resolution submitted by Senators Chuck Schumer and Mazie Hirono, purporting to “send a message today that the Senate reaffirms our long-standing tradition about defending whistleblowers.” Paul, instead, demanded consideration of the updated whistleblower legislation that he has just submitted.
Unlike the “fake outrage” of the Democratic Senators, he said his legislation will “make clear” that President Trump should be able to face his accuser; expand current whistleblower protections for contractors; and “would be made retroactive so Edward Snowden can come home to live in his own country. All he did was expose that his government was not obeying the Constitution!”