Updated: Lawyer Dismisses Ex-Wife’s Plagiarism Allegation Against Rand Paul

AP

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET:

A spokesperson for RandPac provided TPM with an email from Fein denying Mattie Fein’s allegations. MSNBC had earlier confirmed with Fein that the message was indeed from him.

“Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me,” Fein said in the email. “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.”

Original:

Did Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) plagiarize the lawsuit he filed Wednesday against President Barack Obama and the National Security Agency?

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reported that Paul originally drafted the class action suit he filed under former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s (R) name with the help of Bruce Fein, who recently served as an attorney for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s father.

From the Post:

But a Jan. 15 draft of the complaint written by Fein has long passages that are nearly identical to those in the complaint Cuccinelli filed Wednesday. Except for some cuts and minor wording changes, they are clearly the same documents.

Fein’s ex-wife and spokeswoman, Mattie Fein, told Milbank that Cuccinelli stole “the work product, intellectual property and legal genius of Bruce Fein” without payment.

She added that Paul, who “already has one plagiarism issue, now has a lawyer who just takes another lawyer’s work product.”

Paul was hammered by critics last year after news outlets uncovered a string of his speeches and op-eds that seemed to lift material from Wikipedia and other sources. He has since vowed to better vet his material and offer footnotes.

Doug Stafford, the executive director of Paul’s political action committee RandPac, told Bloomberg Businessweek that “allegations that Bruce Fein was not paid are false, he was paid. Additionally, Bruce was one of several attorneys involved in this lawsuit.”

Cuccinelli told Milbank after Wednesday’s press conference announcing the suit that Fein would be “brought in later.”

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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