Rand Paul’s Team Accused of Plagiarizing Lawsuit Against NSA

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Poor Rand Paul has been looking forward to suing the Obama administration over NSA surveillance for months, but his announcement on Wednesday was marred by infighting among his legal team, including a charge that's particularly sensitive for Paul. Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, who has represented Edward Snowden's father, claims he wrote the complaint, but the suit Paul filed lists tea-party favorite Ken Cuccinelli as its author. Mattie Fein, his ex-wife/spokeswoman, told the Washington Post's Dana Milbank that the complaint is "the work product, intellectual property and legal genius of Bruce Fein," adding that Paul, who "already has one plagiarism issue, now has a lawyer who just takes another lawyer’s work product."

Fein claims he hasn't been fully paid for his work and had "no idea" that it would be filed Wednesday. "Allegations that Bruce Fein was not paid are false, he was paid," countered Doug Stafford, executive director of RandPAC. "Additionally, Bruce was one of several attorneys involved in this lawsuit."

Cuccinelli said at Wednesday's press conference, "Bruce Fein will be brought in later." Milbank reports that in an email later that afternoon, Stafford criticized Fein for publicly complaining. "That is crazy and makes no sense if your interest is to work as part of the team. None," he wrote. Fein is just lucky that dueling remains illegal in Kentucky.