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MSNBC debunks accusation that Rand Paul's team stole his NSA lawsuit from another attorney

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,MSNBC,Ken Cuccinelli,Rand Paul,NSA

MSNBC debunked a charge leveled against Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his legal team that the lawsuit they filed against the National Security Agency was "stolen from its author." The network did so by contacting the author, who explained that he is part of Paul's legal team.

"I was working on a legal team, and have been paid for my work,” Bruce Fein, who helped write the lawsuit, told MSNBC in an email.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank reported the accusation, which was leveled by Fein's ex-wife, Mattie, against former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the lead counsel on the lawsuit.

“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 told Milbank, who described herself as Bruce Fein's spokesperson. “Ken Cuccinelli stole the suit.”

The story was widely reported by other news organizations before being debunked by Bruce Fein's statement to MSNBC.

“Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me,” Fein wrote to MSNBC. “Her quotes were her own and did not represent my views."

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