WASHINGTON — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called for an end to the Espionage Act on Saturday, less than a week after the FBI raided the former Mar-a-Lago home. President Donald Trump.
“The Espionage Act was abused from the start to imprison World War I dissenters. It’s a long pastime to repeal this flagrant affront to the 1st Amendment,” he wrote on Twitter.
On August 8, FBI agents took 11 sets of classified documents, according to the search warrant and a property receipt, both of which were released on Friday. Some documents were labeled as “secret” or “top secret”. The warrant showed that the investigation was looking into possible violations of the Espionage Act.
What is the Espionage Act:What is the Espionage Act? Everything you need to know, from the Sedition Act amendment to declassified documents.
Going to affect after the outbreak of the First World War, the Espionage Act 1917 prohibited the obtaining of information, photographing or copying details of any information relevant to national defense for the purpose that such information may be used against the United States or for the benefit of other countries.
Many important parts of the Espionage Act are still in effect and can be used in court. In its modern version, the law has been used to prosecute spies and people who leak classified information.
The investigation doesn’t necessarily mean the former president is a spy, in Trump’s specific case the Espionage Act is about “the collection, transmission or loss of defense information”.
What you need to know about the FBI search:What did the FBI look for — and find — when raiding Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home? What we know
Contributors: Josh Meyer, Anna Kaufman