The news this week has shown that since the pressure is being ramped up to repeal the Iran nuclear deal that John Kerry has been openly working behind the scenes, contrary to what the administration is saying and trying to save the Iran nuclear deal that he helped push thru with the Obama administration.
The Boston Globe published a piece that had Kerry engaging in shadow diplomacy behind the scenes meeting twice with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif trying to find ways to keep their deal in place. He’s also been in contact with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who not so coincidentally is Germany’s most strident anti-Trump voice. During the 2016 elections, Steinmeier, who was a big supporter of Barrack Obama called Trump a “hate preacher.”
Kerry met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini who was part of the Iran deal on the European side. Mogherini has been criticized as someone who is far too soft on Iran and gave a speech stating that “Islam belongs in Europe politics.”
Kerry has also met with French President Macron twice, in NY and Paris to discuss sanctions and the regional nuclear question.
His actions have widely called for him to be charged under the Logan Act. He’s had 40+ years of violating it, as he’s constantly been at odds with it. Even Alan Dershowitz has said that if the Logan Act were to be enforced, Kerry should be charged.
But first what is the Logan Act and why was it put on the books.
The Logan Act was written in 1798 while President John Adams was in a period of increased tensions with France. After several envoys from Adams’ Federalist Party made no headway with the French, Dr. George Logan, a state legislator, and pacifist met with several French leaders. It was a big scandal of the day because Logan’s meetings deliberately undermined the policies of the current administration.
The law passed in 1799 by a 58-36 vote in the House and 18-2 in the Senate states:
953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
The writers of the act left the language somewhat vague as to allow the government certain flexibility in using or possibly abusing it. However, only twice since 1799 has anyone ever been charged under the Logan Act. Once in 1802 and another in 1852 and neither one resulted in a conviction.
Kerry has a very long history of siding with the people who are not our friends or allies and several of these may be violations of the Logan Act. They include but are not limited to:
- During the Vietnam War, Kerry likened Ho Chi Minh to George Washington and falsely claimed that U.S. troops were widely committing war crimes.
- Joined Cuba and the Soviet Union in denouncing the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983
- Called President Reagan a warmonger for wanting to beef up U.S. missiles in Europe.
- Denounced U.S. aid for the Contras in Nicaragua and openly solicited talks with Daniel Ortega
- Called the bombing of Libya and Gaddafi “unjustified”
- Sided with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and was against Israel putting up a border fence for security
- Kerry argued that Iran needs nuclear power and while they continue to try to build nuclear weapons which will be used against allies in the Middle East, continues to push the agenda.
- Kerry’s organization, called Diplomacy Works, consisting of many of his staff from Washington is making dozens of phone calls, writing newspaper pieces, producing television snippets, all in an effort to undermine the current administration and its policies.
So while several conservative media outlets are calling for Kerry to be charged under the Logan Act, if you think it is going to happen, don’t hold your breath. First of all, finding a prosecutor who wants to go down that slippery slope will be extremely hard if not impossible to find. No one wants to touch this political hot potato. Why?
Despite several Republicans calling out Kerry for undermining the Trump administration, they don’t want to see Kerry charged because they don’t want the same law being used against them. And rest assured, many Republicans are just as cavalier with the act as are the Democrats and in this case Kerry.
Democrats were quick to point the finger at Mike Flynn with his meetings with Russia after the election. But the difference, at least there was that Flynn was representing the administration that was getting set to take over, not one who had been out of office for more than a year.
John Kerry is the former secretary of state and former senator holds no governmental office. He is not authorized to speak on behalf of the United States. And there can’t be any question now that he is actively trying to undermine current American foreign policy by trying to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran that he in part negotiated.
Will the current Secretary of State and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo order him to stand down and to stop negotiating on behalf of the United States? That is possible but if done so, will probably be done quietly and with little fanfare. Of course, if ordered to do so, there is also little doubt that the President’s own phone will be relaying the details thru Twitter.
But will Kerry face the music in court for violating the Logan Act? Those odds would be astronomical. He’s skated by for more than 40 years now, why would anything change?