Huffpost Politics

Rand Paul Accused Of Plagiarizing NSA-Obama Lawsuit

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After being ensnared by a series of plagiarism accusations last year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is facing a new claim over his lawsuit against President Barack Obama and the NSA.

In a Wednesday Washington Post column, Dana Milbank draws attention to the fact that a key name was missing from the class-action lawsuit filed by Paul: former Reagan Administration lawyer Bruce Fein, who had been working with the senator since December.

When lining up a Jan. 15 Fein draft with Wednesday's lawsuit, the Post found the documents to be almost entirely similar, along with the insertion of a new lead counsel: former Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R). According to the Post, Fein's camp was "aghast and shocked" over the change.

“Ken Cuccinelli stole the suit,” Fein's ex-wife and spokesperson, Maddie Fein, told the Post, throwing in that Paul, who “already has one plagiarism issue, now has a lawyer who just takes another lawyer’s work product.”

Cuccinelli responded to the Post, saying after the Wednesday news conference announcing the suit that Fein would "be brought in later.” In a statement released on Paul's website, Cuccinelli added that he was "excited" to be lead counsel in an effort to "protect a cornerstone of the Constitution."

Back in November, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow unearthed evidence suggesting Paul lifted material from the Wikipedia page for the 1997 film "Gattaca" for a speech during Cuccinelli's gubernatorial campaign.

"What makes me mad about the whole thing is that I believe there is a difference between errors of omission and errors of intention," Paul told the National Review in November. "We aren’t perfect and we have made errors of omission, but we never intended to mislead anybody."

UPDATE (12:05 p.m. ET) -- The following statement was provided to Paul's office from Bruce Fein:

"Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me. Her quotes were her own and did not represent my views. I was working on a legal team, and have been paid for my work."

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