Now that former president Donald Trump is suspected of having violated one or more sections of the federal Espionage Act and is facing decades in prison for failing to turn over thousands of top secret documents to the National Archives, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is calling for the law to be repealed ASAP.
According to Newsweek, Paul made the suggestion on Twitter over the weekend:
“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,” he wrote. The GOP senator included a link to a June 2019 article titled “Repeal the Espionage Act” published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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.
Repeal the Espionage Act – The Future of Freedom Foundation https://t.co/3KCgujpS9z
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 13, 2022
The article cited by Paul references WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and includes this rationale for doing away with the Espionage Act:
“In fact, it is that World War I relic that U.S. officials are now relying on to secure the criminal indictment of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks head who released a mountain of evidence disclosing the inner workings and grave wrongdoing on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment, especially with respect to the manner in which it has waged it undeclared forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.”
Paul has also called for Assange to be granted immunity from prosecution for his alleged crimes, telling The Gateway Pundit in 2018:
“I think that he should be given immunity from prosecution in exchange for coming to the United States and testifying. I think he’s been someone who has released a lot of information, and you can debate whether or not any of that has caused harm, but I think really he has information that is probably pertinent to the hacking of the Democratic emails that would be nice to hear.”
The Kentucky Republican’s sudden interest in eliminating the very law that Trump is suspected of having broken was met with criticism from his Democratic opponent, Charles Booker:
Rand Paul is now calling to repeal the Espionage Act after the world learned Donald Trump is under investigation for violating it.
When I am elected to the Senate, you will never have to question my loyalty to our country.
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) August 14, 2022
Paul, it should be noted, has also suggested that the FBI may have planted top secret information at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf resort telling Fox News on Wednesday:
“Do I know that the boxes of material they took from Mar-a-Lago, that they won’t put things into those boxes to entrap him? How do we know?”
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