Rand Paul Calls for Repeal Of Espionage Act in Wake of FBI's Mar-A-Lago Raid Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) listens to testimony during the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on COVID-19 May 12, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Toni L. Sandys-Pool/Getty Images)
By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 14 August 2022 09:39 AM EDT
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is calling for the repeal of the Espionage Act amid the Department of Justice’s probe of whether former President Donald Trump potentially violated it.
In a tweet Saturday, Paul trashed the act as one “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.
He also linked his post to an article by fellow libertarian Jacob Hornberger — a former presidential candidate and founder of the Future of Freedom Foundation, who called the Espionage Act a "tyrannical law."
Business Insider on Sunday noted a key point in the act concurs the "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," which relates to any document relating to national defense that "through gross negligence" was "illegally removed from its proper place of custody … to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed."
Federal investigators took away boxes of documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Aug. 8 — seizing 11 classified documents, including some marked top secret, according to Insider.
The Washington Post reported Trump took nuclear documents to his Florida home.
The DOJ is investigating if Trump violated the Espionage Act and potentially broke two other laws, according to the warrant unsealed by the department Friday.
A conviction under the Espionage Act carries a 10-year maximum stint in federal prison, Insider noted.
Trump has blasted the raid, calling it a political move — and asserting “it was all declassified.”