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Rand Paul mocked for call to repeal Espionage Act cited in Trump FBI warrant

‘The espionage act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI. It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment,’ Paul tweets

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 14 August 2022 19:15 BST
Related video: Donald Trump: What happened during the FBI Mar-a-Lago raid?
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Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has called to repeal of the Espionage Act, the law cited in the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s southern Florida club Mar-a-Lago.

“The espionage act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI. It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment,” Mr Paul tweeted on Saturday night, including a link to the Future of Freedom Foundation.

The president and founder of the foundation Jacob Hornberger was a Libertarian presidential candidate in 2000 and 2020.

He wrote on the foundation’s website on 3 June 2019 that the act is a “tyrannical law” and a “World War I relic”.

The Department of Justice filed a motion to unseal parts of the Mar-a-Lago warrant on Thursday and on Friday, documents revealed that Mr Trump possibly stored documents at his Florida home that constituted a violation of the Espionage Act as well as other federal laws.

David Frum of The Atlantic tweeted: “One way to stop Trump from violating laws is by repealing all the laws.”

“Weird how the first time Rand Paul ever tweeted about the Espionage Act, which according to him has been abused for over a century, was the day after it was disclosed Trump was being investigated under that law. What a coincidence!” Twitter user Pe added. “Also, there are multiple parts to the Espionage Act. Some of them are definitely constitutionally questionable but most just relate to the handling of secret information and actual espionage.”

“The First Amendment doesn’t grant you cover to sell government secrets or commit sedition. Treason is not free speech. Jesus Christ, this guy is a United States Senator,” Clay Jones wrote.

“If Republicans take the House and Senate, Biden’s veto pen will be the only thing preventing them from literally legalizing espionage against the United States,” former Obama official Brandon Friedman tweeted.

“This is where they are now, trying to repeal the laws Trump broke. There is no bottom,” Gary Whitta wrote.

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