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As this term ends, and I look back on the record of Donald Trump as president, one thing stands out: he has been far more libertarian and done more on foreign policy and civil liberties than has any recent president.

First, as in my previous profession as a physician, my first yardstick for a politician is to “do no harm.” President Trump has started no new wars, has kept us out of conflicts like Syria, and has been actively attempting to wind down the wars he inherited in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also inherited another reaction to the war on terror — the so-called Patriot Act. The Patriot Act has been used to spy on Americans since 2001, and many parts of it should never have been passed and should not be allowed to continue. This past year, when some of the worst parts of the Patriot Act were up for renewal, President Trump stopped its renewal with a veto threat.

The Deep State and the War Caucus were in a frenzy when that happened — “How will we survive?  The terrorists will surely overrun us!”  When I filibustered the renewal of the Patriot Act, a senior Republican senator warned me, “We’ll have no way to fight the terrorists!”  I replied, “We could try something novel and simply follow the Constitution!”

Well, we’ve done that for months now, and all is well.  We should keep doing that in the new administration.

Lovers of liberty have President Trump to thank for his foreign policy and opposition to Patriot Act renewal — but there is one more important symbolic step he needs to take now. He should pardon Edward Snowden for revealing the unconstitutional spying that was going on, even beyond what was envisioned from the Patriot Act.

Itis important to remember that Snowden leaked information about unconstitutional spying and was motivated to do so after watching Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lie about it under oath. Clapper lied to Congress multiple times, along with participating in many unconstitutional endeavors, including spying on Americans and participating in the Russia Hoax.  He lied in 2013, and he lied again during the Russia probe.

He and others like him in the Deep State abused power and shredded the Constitution.  And Snowden exposed them.

Contrary to the media narrative, Snowden was attempting to expose this type of anti-American behavior from the Deep State, not damage our security. In his own words, he said,

I would say the breaking point was seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress.  There’s no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions.  Seeing that really meant for me that there was no going back.  Beyond that, it was the creeping realization that no one else was going to do this.  The public had a right to know about these programs.  The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public.

Barack Obama, trying to protect the Deep State liars, tried to imprison Snowden for being a “traitor.” Joe Biden — an ally of the Deep State and self-proclaimed author of parts of the Patriot Act — would continue the wrongful prosecution.

But Snowden is no traitor.  He is a true whistleblower who was trying to expose those like Clapper who used Deep State powers in secret to go after Americans. Snowden should be pardoned. And this president, who distinguished himself as an opponent of the Deep State on issues of war and spying on Americans, should be the one to do it.

Rand Paul, MD, is a U.S. senator from Kentucky.



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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Rep. Bennie Thompson targets Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in Capitol riot lawsuit

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Rep. Bennie Thompson is targeting former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in a suit alleging that they conspired to incite the violence that transpired at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the long-serving Mississippi Democrat by the NAACP and the Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll law firm claims that the defendants broke the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by attempting to meddle in Congress’s certification of the Electoral College count, according to NPR.

“The insurrection at the Capitol was a direct, intended, and foreseeable result of the Defendants’ unlawful conspiracy,” the lawsuit claims. “It was instigated according to a common plan that the Defendants pursued since the election held in November 2020.”

According to the outlet, Thompson told reporters on Tuesday: “I am privileged to partner with the NAACP to have my day in court so that the perpetrators of putting members of Congress at risk can be held accountable.”

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Trump was acquitted on Saturday in his Senate impeachment trial in a 57-43 vote. While a majority of senators voted that the former commander-in-chief was guilty regarding the single article of impeachment that was passed by the House last month during Trump’s waning days in office, the 57 guilty votes failed to clear the two-thirds supermajority required to secure a conviction.

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Judicial Watch sues U.S. Capitol Police in pursuit of emails and videos pertaining to Jan. 6 riots

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Judicial Watch has lodged a lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police in an effort to obtain emails and videos pertaining to the riot that transpired Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

The watchdog organization said in a press release that it filed the suit under the common law right of access to public records following the Capitol Police declining to provide materials sought in a Jan. 21 request.

“The public has a right to know about how Congress handled security and what all the videos show of the US Capitol riot,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “What are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer trying to hide from the American people?”

The January request sought all video from within the U.S. Capitol during a nine-hour period on Jan. 6.

The request also sought “Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021,” according to Judicial Watch. The request also sought, “Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021,” according to the watchdog group.

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The Capitol Police said in a Feb. 11 letter that the materials sought do not constitute “public records,” according to Judicial Watch.

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