Sorry, President Trump — Mueller saved John Kerry from the Logan Act – Washington Examiner
Sorry, Mr. President, special counsel Robert Mueller’s report destroyed the Logan Act’s continuing legal viability. It cannot be used to prosecute John Kerry.
The context here is President Trump’s suggestion on Thursday that former Secretary of State John Kerry be charged with violating the Logan Act. The act restricts private individuals from conducting foreign policy “without the authority” of the U.S. government. But Trump is upset over Kerry’s discussions with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in relation to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Kerry supports that nuclear deal, but Trump strongly opposes it and has imposed significant sanctions on Iran in pursuit of a new deal.
But as I say, Kerry can’t be prosecuted under the Logan Act. Because Mueller’s report showed prima facie evidence of breaches of the Logan Act by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and potentially also Jared Kushner and Trump himself. As I’ve noted, Flynn’s conduct during the 2016 presidential transition period evidences “successful, unauthorized effort to affect a foreign government’s foreign policy.”
Flynn was not authorized by the Obama administration to carry on that activity, and it was fundamentally counter to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. So if Flynn wasn’t charged for his actions, Kerry cannot be charged over his.
In short, the Logan Act is dead. That is rightly so: the act is almost certainly unconstitutional in its infringement of the individual right to free speech.