Paul's camp denies stealing lawsuit

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) team denied the National Security Agency (NSA) lawsuit he filed Wednesday was stolen from attorney Bruce Fein.

Paul's political action committee provided an email from Fein claiming his his ex-wife, who leveled the charge on Wednesday, did not speak for him.

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The group's executive director, Doug Stafford, said Fein helped with the 18-page complaint filed against President Obama and the NSA. Fein was paid for that work, Stafford said.

“Bruce Fein was paid for work on this matter. Bruce was one of several attorneys consulted in the initial phases,” Stafford said in a statement.

Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate, is named as the head lawyer on the complaint filed Wednesday. Paul has cited Cuccinelli’s role since early January.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post cited Fein's ex-wife — claiming to be speaking for Fein — saying the lawyer was upset with Paul's camp and Cuccinelli for "stealing" the complaint and not receiving full payment or credit for his work.

However, Paul's camp provided an email from Bruce Fein on Thursday saying his wife was not speaking for him.

"Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me," he said of his ex-wife, who was cited as Mattiie Fein in The Post. "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."
 
Fein's ex-wife on Wednesday accused Cuccinelli of stealing Fein’s “intellectual property” and brought up Paul’s past plagiarism scandal.

“Ken Cuccinelli stole the suit,” Fein’s ex-wife told The Post.

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

Last year, Paul had been accused of borrowing passages in his book and other opinion articles from other people’s work without citation.

The Washington Post obtained a draft version of the suit written by Fein in January, which had large passages similar to the final complaint filed. The complaint challenged the constitutionality of an NSA surveillance program that collects metadata, including call times, durations, phone numbers, on millions of U.S. citizens.

However, there were some key differences.

In the earlier version, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Paul are both listed as plaintiffs. Udall’s name was not included in the final version, and his office said he was never a part of the suit.

Obama was also named in the final version of the complaint. His name did not appear in the earlier draft, according to the Post.

 

This story was updated at 11:13 a.m. to reflect the new information.

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