GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is facing fierce criticism after calling for the repeal of the Espionage Act amid the revelation that the Justice Department is investigating former President Donald Trump’s potential violation of the Act.
“The Espionage Act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment,” he added while sharing a link to a 2019 article by Jacob Hornberger, a former Libertarian presidential candidate and founder of the Future of Freedom Foundation, which called the Espionage Act a “tyrannical law.”
The Espionage Act of 1917 dates back to World War I and was introduced to prohibit sharing information that could harm the US or advantage foreign adversaries.
On Monday, federal agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and seized numerous boxes of documents containing classified documents, including some marked top secret.
According to the warrant unsealed by the department on Friday, the DOJ is now investigating if Trump violated Section 793 of the Espionage Act and potentially broke two other laws. A conviction under the Espionage Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
Paul’s tweet was met with disdain and mockery. Charles Booker, a Democrat Senate candidate who will face Paul in the general election, described the call for the repeal of the act as “shameful.”
Other users piled on, lambasting the Kentucky Senator as a “Russian asset” for supporting espionage against the United States.
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
Senator John McCain called it.
You are a Russian asset and a traitor to the USA.
— Debbie (@DebbieSVA) August 14, 2022
Leave it to loony Rand Paul to come out in support of ESPIONAGE against our country.
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) August 13, 2022
You are a traitor! The only reason you still exist is due to the poorly educated that support you. I wish you would get drunk again and stumble over to the neighbors. Asshole!
— Richard N. Ojeda, II (@Ojeda4America) August 14, 2022
Rand Paul’s actions are shameful. My name is Charles Booker, I am a lifelong Kentuckian, proud husband, father, and the person who is going to retire Rand Paul this November. Please help me win this race by chipping in today: https://t.co/TxuQkA5rbC
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) August 14, 2022
Funny how they want to repeal something when it hurts them. If you'd asked Rand Paul a couple of weeks ago what he thought, he would've said he was all for it. GOP change their tune depending on the music from Mir-a-lago.
— Ronnie Lamkin (@LamkinRonnie) August 14, 2022
— Liz 🇺🇸 🇺🇦 (@lizzzzz_c) August 13, 2022
What an odd time for you to bring this up
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) August 14, 2022
— Ginni's tinfoil 👒 (@satirehat) August 14, 2022
How can we forget, I miss him so much! pic.twitter.com/BJgQk8CuUe
— 🇺🇦Skyleigh Heinen🇺🇸 (@Sky_Lee_1) April 26, 2022