President Trump Monday morning suggested that former Secretary of State John Kerry may have broken the law by running afoul of the Logan Act.
The President announced via Twitter that his administration was moving toward a goal of reducing Iranian oil exports to zero by eliminating waivers from U.S. sanctions granted to some of the nation’s biggest purchasers.
The hope is that pressure will lead to Iran abandoning their nuclear and missile programs and to stop funding radical Islamic terrorism.
In taking this action, Trump explained that the Iranian regime is “being given VERY BAD advice by John Kerry” and those “who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal.”
Trump then suggested Kerry’s meddling amounted to a violation of the Logan Act.
Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil. Iran is being given VERY BAD advice by @JohnKerry and people who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal. Big violation of Logan Act?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2019
Kerry admitted in an interview this past September to conducting rogue diplomacy with a top Iranian official, unauthorized by the government.
“I met with him at a conference in Norway,” Kerry said, speaking about Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. “I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.”
He urged Iran’s leaders to “wait out the Trump Administration.”
The Logan Act states that:
“Any citizen of the United States … who, without authority of the United States … 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 … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Kerry’s admission coincided with previous reports that he had been holding then-secret meetings with Zarif.
As the former Secretary of State did not have the authority to conduct these talks from the administration, it seems we have a clear-cut violation on our hands.
Is He Guilty?
If nothing else, Kerry colluded with a foreign government clearly hostile to the United States. It would seem like Democrats would be all over an investigation of such blatant collusion.
John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2018
The reality, however, is that the Logan Act is a rarely successful pursuit, having only resulted in indictments twice – in 1802 and 1852 – with neither having actually resulted in a conviction.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the time of Kerry’s admission to meeting with the Iranian regime said he’d let legal experts discuss the probability of illegality, but claimed his actions were at best “unseemly and unprecedented.”
“A former secretary of state engaged with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and according to him, he was talking to them, he was telling them to wait out this administration,” Pompeo explained.
Kerry has justified his actions, stating “everybody in the world is talking about waiting out President Trump.”