According to a report in the Washington Post written by political columnist Dana Milbank, former Reagan administration lawyer Bruce Fein has accused Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli of stealing his work.
The report claims that Paul had been working with Fein since December to draft a class-action suit against the NSA, the President, and other agency heads that would halt data collection programs and purge data already collected by the NSA. But when Paul filed his suit at the U.S. District Court in Washington on Wednesday, Fein’s name didn't appear as a plaintiff in the court filing; instead Cuccinelli's name appeared alongside Paul's. Fein, who the WP claims has "not been paid in full for his legal work by Paul’s political action committee," was apparently upset that he had been removed from the filing he wrote.
"I am aghast and shocked by Ken Cuccinelli’s behavior and his absolute knowledge that this entire complaint was the work product, intellectual property and legal genius of Bruce Fein," Mattie Fein, his ex-wife and spokeswoman, told Milbank on Wednesday. "Ken Cuccinelli stole the suit."
She added that Paul, who "already has one plagiarism issue, now has a lawyer who just takes another lawyer’s work product."
Cuccinelli later told Milbank that "Bruce Fein will be brought in later."
Doug Stafford, executive director of Rand Paul's political action committee RandPac advisor (who was not named in Milbank's article, but was mentioned in a Bloomberg report saying basically the same thing) tells Milbank that Fein was paid $15,000 and that "multiple attorneys" were involved in drafting the lawsuit.
The Milbank article goes on to offer some details on an unsubstantiated back and forth between Cuccinelli and Fein.
It should be noted that Dana Milbank is political opinion writer for the Washington Post, and his articles tend to be what some might categorize as "anti-conservative."
Bloomberg is also reporting that Fein claims he was unaware that the lawsuit would be filed on Wednesday.
We will have more on this story as it develops.
Source: Washington Post