Rand Paul Raising Money Off Forcing Expiration Of Surveillance Law

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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Key components of the Patriot Act aren’t the only things set to expire Sunday — so is Rand Paul’s “NSA Spying Showdown” money bomb.

As the Kentucky senator vows to prevent the extension of several provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to sunset Sunday at midnight — including the provision the National Security Agency uses to justify its bulk collection of metadata from phone companies — his campaign is emailing supporters trying to raise money off the heated national security battle.

“As I write you, it’s not clear the path NSA apologists will choose to take next. All that’s clear is that, against all odds, you and I have won ‘Round 1,'” Paul wrote in an email to supporters sent Friday, obtained by The Daily Caller.

“But the stakes get even higher from here, and time is running out,” the letter continued. “That’s why I’m announcing an emergency 48 hour ‘NSA Spying Showdown’ Money Bomb.”

The email is littered with links for supporters to click and donate.

“I believe the grassroots army willing to ‘take our country back,’ as I envisioned in my announcement speech, is forming before our eyes. Polls are proving it,” the letter reads. “But I know you have the ability to make a big impact with your generosity.”

“So today, with the Senate down to just eight hours on May 31st to RAM an extension into law, I’m writing to ask for your support for my emergency ‘NSA Spying Showdown’ Money Bomb,” it continued.

With the Senate set to convene Sunday in order to attempt to prevent the expiration of Patriot Act provisions supporters view as important weapons in protecting the American homeland from terrorism, Paul said Saturday he intended to “force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program.”

Reports suggest that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will try to move the compromise USA Freedom Act through the Senate during the Sunday session, but in order to get a vote that day, he needs all senators on board. By objecting, Paul could reportedly hold off a vote past the expiration deadline, perhaps far past it.

Though initially joined by many conservative senators in his quest to reform the surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act, many of those allies have now abandoned Paul and are supporting the compromise USA Freedom Act.

Paul’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on accusations by some of his critics that the senator is playing presidential politics with an important national security issue.

Politico reported Friday that unlike many of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Paul has been unable to get a mega donor to back his super PAC and is now focusing on grassroots efforts to raise cash, like his “NSA Spying Showdown” money bomb.

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Jamie Weinstein