As former President Donald Trump fumes over the FBI raid of his Palm Beach compound, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is calling for a repeal of the Espionage Act, which the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating if Trump violated.
“The Espionage Act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI,” tweeted Paul on Saturday. “It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment.”
The Kentucky Republican is running for re-election against Democratic nominee Charles Booker, who is “demanding end his assault on our democracy or immediately resign.”
“Make no mistake about Rand Paul’s newfound position on the Espionage Act: Rand Paul is for Rand Paul,” Booker said in a statement Monday. “Rand Paul famously used the Espionage Act to bully political opponents. Now he is working to cover-up espionage for the same reason – it serves his interests. As a U.S. Senator, Rand Paul has demonstrated a pattern of self-serving conduct punctuated by a treasonous and disqualifying track record of working against our democracy. From inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, to spreading dangerous propaganda following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Rand Paul has consistently shown us that he is willing to sell out our country for personal gain.”
“Rand Paul doesn’t care about earnest protections of the first amendment. He doesn’t even care about Donald Trump. If and when it serves him, he will throw him under the bus, too. This latest move is a dangerous and dishonest attempt to sow discord and threaten the legitimacy of our government.”
The U.S. Department of Justice took away boxes of documents from Trump’s Palm Beach home in Florida. According to an unsealed search warrant, the FBI seized 11 classified documents. The Washington Post reports the FBI was looking for documents potentially linked to nuclear weapons that Trump may have taken to Mar-a-Lago.
A conviction under the Espionage Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.