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One of the worst features of President Donald Trump’s “no rules, no regrets” mindset is that it has emboldened others to follow suit.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the Ukrainian whistleblower, whose complaint set the impeachment inquiry in motion, should be unmasked. By Monday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, at a Trump rally in his home state, claimed to know the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower and then demanded the media “do your job” and reveal the person’s name.  

We’ll state this clearly, though we’re fairly certain Paul already knows that:

— Outing a whistleblower violates federal law. Whistleblowers are protected for good reason. It is imperative that those with information about serious wrongdoing are able to step forward without jeopardizing their jobs and more.

— It is not the media’s responsibility to unmask a federally protected informant. If Paul wants that kind of dirty work done and he knows the name, he should state it. He won’t, though, because he knows the consequences for breaking the law.

The vitriol and flat-out lies about the validity of this impeachment inquiry should trouble all Americans. There must be an accepted process for dealing with potential wrongdoing that applies to all equally. Allowing the accused to intimidate, retaliate and obstruct attempts to verify allegations undermines this nation’s ability to govern itself.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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