Fresh Plagiarism Charges Raised Against Rand Paul

AP

Add another outlet to the growing list of sources Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) allegedly plagiarized: parts of an op-ed the Kentucky senator wrote in September closely resemble an article published days earlier in The Week.

Buzzfeed reported Monday night that paragraphs from Paul’s Washington Times op-ed on mandatory minimum prison sentences, published on Sept. 20, appear to lift language from an article by The Week’s Dan Stewart published on Sept. 14.

To give one example, Stewart wrote in his “Rethinking mandatory sentencing” that “By design, mandatory sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances.”

Paul’s op-ed contained a virtually identical sentence: “By design, mandatory-sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances.”

Both pieces also related similar anecdotes about a man named John Horner, a father of three who faced a 25-year prison sentence for selling prescription painkillers to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. 

Paul’s office did not return Buzzfeed’s request for comment, but Bill Falk, The Week’s editor in chief, told Buzzfeed he thanked Paul for the endorsement.

Following initial reports suggesting he lifted material from Wikipedia and other sources, Paul said that if “dueling were legal in Kentucky,” he’d like to go toe-to-toe with the “hacks and haters” accusing him of plagiarism. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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