Rand Paul calls for repeal of Espionage Act following Mar-a-Lago raid

rand paul calls for repeal of espionage act following mar-a-lago raid

Rand Paul calls for repeal of Espionage Act following Mar-a-Lago raid

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called for a repeal of the Espionage Act following the FBI’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday.

The Kentucky Republican made the announcement in a tweet linking to an article from former Libertarian presidential candidate Jacob Hornberger, who argued that the Espionage Act has been abused and should be abolished.

“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 tweeted.

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Paul has been a vocal critic of the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid, calling it “an attack on the rule of law” in an appearance on Fox News. Search warrant documents unsealed on Friday showed Trump is being investigated for a potential Espionage Act violation and possible obstruction of justice.

The Espionage Act was passed in June 1917, two months after the United States’s entry into World War I. The act forbade the copying or relaying of information relating to national defense with the intention of causing injury to the U.S. or to benefit any foreign nation, according to the First Amendment Encyclopedia. It also forbade obstructing enlistment or causing insubordination in the armed forces. This included the military draft, which resulted in many charges against those opposing it.

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In his article, Hornberger used the examples of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and dissenters against U.S. intervention in WWI to argue that the Espionage Act is a means for the government to shut down any and all criticism of its foreign policy. He argued that the act cannot be reconciled with the principles of a free society.

“The fact is that if the White Rose members had done the same thing they did in Germany here in the United States, U.S. officials would have gone after them with the same anger and vengeance as German officials did. And they would have used the Espionage Act to do it,” he wrote, referencing the famous student resistance movement against Nazi Germany.

The search warrant unsealed on Friday afternoon cited 18 U.S. Code 793, which is part of the Espionage Act, that specifically refers to the “gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information.” If charged for that violation, Trump could face fines and up to 10 years in prison, according to the Espionage Act.

 

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Tags: Rand Paul, Espionage, News, Espionage Act of 1917, Mar-a-Lago, FBI

Original Author: Brady Knox

Original Location: Rand Paul calls for repeal of Espionage Act following Mar-a-Lago raid

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