Cariciature via DonkeyHotey and Flickr Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/16825509858/
As you know, the Logan Act is one of the most peculiar laws on the books. In brief, it criminalizes any Republican speaking with any foreign leader when a Democrat is in the White House but it allows Democrats to actively undercut the foreign policy of any Republican president. I am not kidding, It is right there in black and white.
So when Michael Flynn, already on the federal payroll as part of Trump’s transition team spoke with the Russian ambassador at Trump’s direction and maybe discussed sanctions relief, Flynn was accused by acting, and I do mean acting, Attorney General Sally Flynn of a Logan Act violation and he was interviewed by FBI agents. Because there is apparently another law, unnamed, that prevents a Republican president-elect from contacting foreign leaders until he’s actually inaugurated.
I think we all know, or expect, anyway, that the Iran nuclear deal is in a coma and on or about May 15, President Trump will let it have death with dignity and pull the plug. Naturally, the Obama alumni who worked on this deal are livid because their legacy accomplishment, other than unending genocide in Syria, is being revealed as a fraud inflicted upon the United States. While Ben Rhodes and Tommy Vietor are screaming at the clouds via Twitter, John Francois Kerry lurched onto the scene. Via the Boston Globe, hometown of the ketchup gigolo: Kerry quietly seeking to salvage Iran deal he helped craft.
John Kerry’s bid to save one of his most significant accomplishments as secretary of state took him to New York on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, where, more than a year after he left office, he engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official.
He sat down at the United Nations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration, according to a person briefed on the meetings.
Kerry also met last month with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and he’s been on the phone with top European Union official Federica Mogherini, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal the private meetings. Kerry has also met with French President Emmanuel Macron in both Paris and New York, conversing over the details of sanctions and regional nuclear threats in both French and English [yaaasssss…French and English you freakin’ proles]
Kerry supporters see in this campaign some of his trademark traits, especially his unflagging energy even in the face of potential failure. Critics see something else, a former office holder working with foreign officials to potentially undermine the policy aims of a current administration.
And I love this:
The Logan Act prohibits US citizens from having private correspondence with a foreign government “with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government . . . in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.”
Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, said the law is a red herring — since it’s never been used to prosecute anyone — and almost certainly would not apply to anything Kerry is doing.
“The act only applies to conduct that is designed to ‘defeat the measures of the United States’ or influence the conduct of foreign governments,” Vladeck said. “If all Kerry is doing is working to keep in place something that’s still technically a ‘measure of the United States,’ I don’t see how the statute would apply even if someone was crazy enough to try it.”
Never mind that the Iran nuclear agreement is not a treaty or an executive agreement, because a Democrat put it in place it is the law of the land.
I really don’t care what Kerry does. He’s not talking to Trump or Pompeo or Bolton and those are the guys who decide the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. But it is galling to see this goof meddling in US foreign policy and getting cheers when what Mike Flynn did was have a couple of phone calls and promise nothing.
Sooner or later, some Congress needs to take the 10 or so minutes needed to repeal this unconstitutional law. But, just for grins, someone needs to pull Jeff Sessions away from his cream of wheat and have him direct an investigation of Kerry for a Logan Act violation.