Rand Paul Plagiarized 3 Pages of His Book, Wants to Shoot "Haters"

It's been a rough few days for Kentucky senator and newly revealed plagiarist Rand Paul: Last week, MSNBC and Politico reported that some of Paul's speeches lifted lines and paragraphs verbatim from Associated Press reports and the Wikipedia pages for Gattaca and Stand and Deliver. And on Saturday, BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski reported that Paul plagiarized significant sections of his book, Government Bullies, directly from a 2003 study by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

Paul included a link to the study in his book's footnotes, though there was no indication that Paul's language was not his own, much less that the entire section was ripped from the report.

A comparison between the book and the report, from BuzzFeed:

Here’s what the Heritage Foundation writes on their website, Overcriminalized.com:

This prosecution also reveals the risks of federalizing criminal law. Observers have long warned against allowing the federal government to encroach on the traditional state function of enacting and enforcing general criminal laws. Here, the federal government, through the Lacey Act, claims to enforce foreign laws against foreign and U.S. citizens. These regulations were not made by the U.S. Congress or by some executive agency, but by a foreign government with unfamiliar procedures. If the government of Honduras had actually believed these regulations to be valid, they were free to bring charges. Instead, the U.S. government prosecuted a case on what turned out to be bad law.

Here’s the nearly identical section of Paul’s book:

This prosecution also reveals the risks of federalizing criminal law. Observers have long warned against allowing the federal government to encroach on the traditional state function of enacting and enforcing general criminal laws. Here, the federal government, through the Lacey Act, claims to enforce foreign laws against foreign and U.S. citizens. These regulations were not made by the U.S. Congress or by some executive agency, but by a foreign government with unfamiliar procedures. If the government of Honduras had actually believed these regulations to be valid, they were free to bring charges. Instead, the U.S. government prosecuted a case on what turned out to be bad law.

It gets worse: According to BuzzFeed, more than three pages of Paul's book were taken, nearly word-for-word, from the Heritage Foundation's study.

Paul's advisors have, of course, downplayed the plagiarism charges, calling the reports “a witch hunt and grasping at straws,” as has Paul himself, who claimed on ABC's This Week that he was being “unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters.”

But Paul didn't stop at calling out the haters, though; he also said he wanted to shoot them, only, of course, if the shooting part were legal, like in the good ol' days.

“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting — I have never intentionally done so and like I say, 'If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know it’d be a duel challenge,'" Paul said.

[Image via AP]