Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) this week reused an incorrect Republican talking point that suggests President Donald Trump has a right to confront the whistleblower who outed his allegedly corrupt demands to Ukraine.
At a campaign rally with Trump in Kentucky on Monday, Paul insisted that media should print the whistleblower's name, which would give GOP lawmakers the coverage they need to begin smearing the public servant.
"Well the Sixth Amendment is pretty clear," Paul told Fox Business host Stuart Varney on Tuesday. "It is part of the Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights."
"It says you get to confront your accusers," he added. "So I think it is very clear the only constitutional mandate here, if someone will accuse you of something that might remove the president from office, for goodness sakes shouldn’t they come forward to present their accusations in person?"
Legal experts, however, say that the right to face one's accuser only applies in criminal cases. NPR debunked the Sixth Amendment claim when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made it just last month.
"It's designed to make sure that before someone goes to prison, that they get a chance to confront the person who has charged them with the crime," former Obama administration lawyer Harold Koh told NPR. "This is a complete canard. The whole point of having whistleblower complaints is that whistleblowers point to problems, and the problems can then be revealed by documents. And then the person who is being charged has to demonstrate that the whistleblower is telling falsehoods through the documents."
Paul's critics online quickly jumped on him for being misinformed about the Constitution.
Watch the Fox Business interview and read some of the replies below.
@thehill @RandPaul Yeah, nice try @RandPaul Do you not know the 6th Amendment applies to criminal proceedings, or d… https://t.co/1RU1Uh1Ph6— Devin Nunes’ Lawyer (@Devin Nunes’ Lawyer)1572975567.0
@RandPaul might want to read the 6th amendment again, chief. It talks about “criminal defendants” in civil cases. F… https://t.co/PfnUCca6W4— John Thorsson (@John Thorsson)1572975558.0
@thehill @RandPaul “you can’t get fired from a job without the Sixth Amendment” - Rand Paul, apparently— Chris B (@Chris B)1572975512.0
@thehill @RandPaul Impeachment is not a criminal procedure, and the Sixth Amendment doesn't apply.— Robwithanh_BlackLivesMatter_RBG (@Robwithanh_BlackLivesMatter_RBG)1572975498.0
@mkraju Certain Networks? It's because of the Constitution we are demanding impeachment! Not because we don;t like… https://t.co/GdiMinPouQ— Jeff, just Jeff. (@Jeff, just Jeff.)1572975402.0
@thehill @RandPaul Rand. Buddy. First - The impeachment inquiry isn’t a Court of law so the 6th Amendment does NOT… https://t.co/zQmuSVi3Si— CitizensUnited is a Farce (@CitizensUnited is a Farce)1572975229.0
Rand Paul does not know the law nor the Constitution and is basically arguing for sedition https://t.co/keaNdXxdpi— Frank Plantan (@Frank Plantan)1572975193.0
@RandPaul Cherry picks the Constitution more than evangelical Christians cherry pick bible verses.— PirateJoelSalty2 (@PirateJoelSalty2)1572975161.0