On January 6th, Donald Trump was interviewed by Rush Limbaugh and suggested that former Secretary of State John Kerry may have violated the Logan Act.
[TRUMP:] And I can tell you, the Logan Act… If there was ever an act that should have been used, they should look at the Obama administration and John Kerry, the Logan Act, because what he was doing with Iran and the relationship that they built up and the things that he said, I would certainly love to see that be looked at because I think John Kerry was… Personally, I think he was advising them. I think that the Obama administration was just letting them get away with murder — in the true sense murder.
And, you know, right after they made the deal, it wasn’t like they were respected. They treated the United States worse than ever before. In fact, I said, “At least give him a little respect,” because they treated… They got worse. They actually got more hostile. They took the $150 billion and they took the $1.8 billion in cash, and they got worse. And, if you remember, right before the payment was made, they took 10 sailors.
It’s not a surprise then that Kerry — who has been eerily silent during the Russia collusion probe et al — piped up and weighed in on the strike that took our Soleimani and the tepid response Tuesday from the Iranians.
Shortly after reports of Iranian airstrikes on US bases in Iraq, @JohnKerry again stressed diplomacy.
"If this develops into a tit for tat increased effort, it will become a war that is needless, it didn't have to happen, and it will be a reckless war of choice" by Trump. pic.twitter.com/xzfcTSFnrm
— Musadiq Bidar (@Bidar411) January 8, 2020
But there may be another reason Kerry has popped up now. Much like his cohort in the Obama administration like Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice, who have been annoyingly vocal lately about all manner of Trump-critical things, Kerry may be implicated in more malfeasance as Secretary of State than his terrible Iranian foreign policy.
Mark Tapscott, reporting at the Epoch Times, notes that Kerry’s Senior Aide Jonathan Winer may have disseminated Christopher Steele’s dodgy intel via a private email account, a potential violating of federal regulations.
Eleven pages of State Department documents released on Jan. 7 in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch show that Jonathan Winer, an assistant to then-Secretary of State John Kerry, used his private email address to convey information he received from former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to top U.S. diplomatic officials.
Winer, who was a known long-time associate of Steele, was thought to be the former British spy’s primary contact at the State Department during the Russia collusion probe, now thought to be little more than a political set-up to smear the Trump administration.
Winer refused to be interviewed by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the Steele documents he shared. According to Judicial Watch, whose FOIA request uncovered the use of Winer’s private email and informed Tapscott’s reporting, Winer’s reticence makes more sense now.
“No wonder Jonathan Winer, Steele’s ally at the State Department, refused to talk to the DOJ IG,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in releasing the documents on Jan. 7.
“He seems to have circumvented the rules in pushing Steele’s unreliable reports to his Obama State Department colleagues. … Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham would do well to focus like a laser on the State Department.”
Winer has also been implicated in several conversations related to the Russia collusion probe, including one with the Russian embassy and one with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.
The question is what did John Kerry know about his close associates and employees pushing bad intel through the State Department off the books?
Whether or not he violated The Logan Act may not be the only question the former highest diplomat faces in the months to come.