The Espionage Act and Rand Paul’s call to abolish it

Rand Paul (R-Ky) is an immense, reeking pile of excrement, and I say that with all due respect to prickly, eternally aggrieved Doctor Paul. He asked today how we know the FBI isn’t busy planting evidence, adding incriminating evidence to the boxes seized at Mar-a-Lago, how do we know the DOJ isn’t a bunch of liars? That said, his recent attack on the 1917 Espionage Act is not nearly as crazy as, say, his ongoing personal war with Anthony Fauci, or his generally paranoiac worldview.

The Espionage Act, as Paul points out, criminalizes certain forms of dissent in a way that offends the Constitution, the First Amendment specifically. The strict wartime law certainly needs to be looked at carefully and rewritten much better than its current form. The same could be said about Nixon’s 1970 Controlled Substances Act and other laws that are still on the books, laws that were made primarily for political purposes and that we can fairly conclude outlived their ugly origins.

So fine, Rand, let’s not prosecute Mr. Trump pursuant to the Espionage Act. Obstruction of justice fits Trumpie and his gang much better anyway.

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