Rand Paul Demands Law Trump Could Go to Jail Over Be Repealed Immediately

One of the most consistent features of the modern Republican Party is its inability to experience shame. That’s how it’s able to throw regular hissy fits about government overreach while censoring what can be taught in schools, talk a big game about being all about the working man while always going to bat for corporations and billionaires, and lose its collective mind over the tyranny of mask usage during a public health crisis while passing draconian laws dictating what pregnant people can and cannot do with their own bodies. It’s also how, for example, a Republican senator can call for the repeal of the Espionage Act—something he does not appear to have ever done before in his 11 years in office!—just days after it emerged that Donald Trump might have violated said act and could go to jail over it.

That’s right: On Saturday, Kentucky senator Rand Paul demanded that Congress scrap the Espionage Act, tweeting that it “was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI” and is an “egregious affront to the 1st Amendment.” The call came less than a week after Trump’s private residence at his Palm Beach resort was raided by the FBI, and just one day after a judge unsealed the search warrant that allowed the feds to do so—which showed that the government had probable cause to believe the former president had violated the 1917 law. On the same day the warrant was unsealed, the Department of Justice said that the FBI had seized 11 boxes of classified documents, including ones marked top secret, from Mar-a-Lago earlier in the week.

While no other former US president has ever been investigated under the Espionage Act, there’s also never been another former US president, as far as we know, who’s taken top secret documents to his for-profit resort and then lied about giving them back. Meanwhile, as NPR notes, six individuals were charged under the Espionage Act during Trump’s time in office. Yet, curiously, Paul does not appear to have said anything about the law in those cases. Something he did have to say in 2017? That anyone in the intelligence community leaking information must “be found.”

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Of course, Paul’s rank hypocrisy is just a drop in the bucket compared to the absurd defenses, and selective amnesia, the GOP has rolled out to defend the ex-president over the last week. Despite the fact that Trump literally campaigned on prosecuting Hillary Clinton and sending her to jail over her alleged mishandling of classified information, his stooges in the GOP now insist that it is absolutely not a big deal to take classified, top secret documents from the government.

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In other Trump news, a former DOJ official told CNN that Trump’s decision to retain top secret documents was “particularly stunning and particularly egregious.” Conservative attorney George Conway, a vocal anti-Trump guy and the husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, told the same network that given the fact that “we haven’t heard anything remotely approaching a rational, logical defense” from the former president’s representation, “the shortest distance between Donald Trump and an orange jumpsuit is this investigation with the documents.”

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