Emails (excerpted), Melanie Sloan, executive director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Jan. 22-23, 2014

11:19 a.m.

From the missive, it appears Paul does have legislative interests.  If he wanted to personally lobby Congress on these issues, he was prohibited from doing so for the past year.  Somehow, it seems unlikely to me that this was his plan.  Sending emails to supporters trying to galvanize them around issues like auditing the Fed isn’t lobbying and would be permissible.  So the concept that every word in these emails had to be reviewed by lawyers to comply with the lobbying ban is nonsense.


From a Congressional Research Service Report:


Not all contacts or communications by former Members or employees with current Members or

employees within the one-year period are barred, however. The prohibition goes only to

advocacy-type of communications, that is, communications “with the intent to influence” a

Member or officer or employee of the legislative branch concerning “any matter on which such

person seeks official action” by that Member, officer or employee, or by either House of

Congress. There are also several specific exceptions to the general prohibition, including, for

example, exceptions for lobbying and advocacy work for State or local governments, testifying

on matters under oath, and generally for representations or communications on behalf of political

candidates, parties and political organizations.


Testifying under oath, by the way, is specifically permitted.



Melanie Sloan

Executive Director


11:57 a.m.

Jan. 23, 2014

...I have trouble imagining what Paul wanted to do that he couldn’t do – if he wanted to write op-eds, appear on television, or have speaking engagements, all of that would have been allowed.