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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

November 5th, 2013
06:17 PM ET

Sen. Rand Paul faces new allegations of plagiarism

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, announced he is "restructuring" his office, and he's not talking about moving around the furniture.

The changes come after yet another accusation of plagiarism. Paul's allegedly lifted lines came from a September op-ed piece written by "The Week's" Dan Stewart, as BuzzFeed.com reports.

"By design, mandatory-sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances," Stewart wrote.

Those exact same words, with the exact same punctuation, were then published under Paul's name just six days later.

The Kentucky senator has said in the past that many different voices went into his speeches. So restructuring his office in the wake of these allegations, appears to be a move to protect his staffers, said BuzzFeed political reporter Andrew Kaczynski, who spotted the duplication.

"He's sort of defending his office, and it doesn't look like anyone's going to be let go," said Kaczynski.

Accusations of plagiarism seriously hurt then Senator Joe Biden's run for the White House in 1988. But 20 years later, then Senator Barack Obama faced accusations of lifting lines from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and his run for the White House was clearly unaffected.

The difference may be because of the short attention span of voters.

"We can't really remember anything that happened two minutes ago in politics, let alone three years from now in the 2016 elections," said Kaczynski.

"I don't really think this is going to hurt Paul, especially because we're not really seeing him getting flack from Republicans for this," said Kaczynski.

Until the Republican base makes an issue of this, Paul will not have to fully address these allegations, said Kaczynski.

"Maybe people will do that in a Republican primary, but right now Paul has ... side stepped the issue, he hasn't totally taken accountability just yet," said Kaczynski.

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