MSNBC.com (now a separate thing from NBC News' website) has updated its story on allegations that Rand Paul had "plagiarized" a portion of his lawsuit over the NSA. An editor's note highlights that a story now headlined "Rand Paul didn't plagiarizes his NSA lawsuit" was originally titled "Rand Paul accused of plagiarizing his NSA lawsuit." What made MSNBC determine the accusations of plagiarism were baseless? They were denied by the lawyer whose ex-wife made the original claim. MSNBC reports:
Late Wednesday, the Washington Post published a story quoting Mattie Fein, identified as the ex-wife and spokesperson of conservative attorney Bruce Fein, saying that Paul and Cuccinnelli had used Bruce Fein's legal work without fully compensating him, and that the filing in the lawsuit was identical to one Fein had worked on for Paul's PAC.
A spokesperson for RANDPAC forwarded an email from Fein denying Mattie Fein's allegations. "Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me," Fein said in the email. "Her quotes were her own and did not represent my views. I was working on a legal team, and have been paid for my work." Bruce Fein confirmed to msnbc that the email was from him.
Whose idea it was to run with a claim by a second-hand source without e-mailing the person on whose work the claim is based remains unanswered.