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Is It Time To Enforce The Logan Act?

Is It Time To Enforce The Logan Act?

The Logan Act

The Logan Act, what exactly is it, and is it time for this law to be applied to ex-government officials, including the ex-president of the United States, Barack Obama? We also look into the law, what it is, why it was put into effect and why it is being ignored today.

Countering the Claim that the Law is not valid. 

We have heard that the Logan Act has never been charged to anyone, but it does not mean that this is any less the law of the land. During the last administration we saw that laws that were not viewed by them favorably they refused to uphold.

Seems in that they did not pay much attention to their oath of office, but now that they are citizens just like you and I, do they have any legal right to ignore laws they don’t agree with? The answer to this is obvious to most of us, sadly the liberal left seems to think they are above such silly things.

What is the Logan Act?

The act as written into law is:

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. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 744; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

What it means is if you are not employed by the government, and in addition given task to bring about negotiations with a foreign power, it is illegal for you do so in any capacity to claim to represent the government of the United States. 

Violations Being Done

Viewing the outright brazen attempts by ex-president Obama moving around the world trying to undo what President Trump is doing is rather alarming, this under US law is illegal. Like it or not, ex-president Obama is a citizen, he has no more legal right to dictate or try to change US policy then you or I do, but for some reason seems he has missed out this memo while teaching Constitutional law.

While we have seen different presidents set up think tanks, do charitable work, this was always done with permission by the government, never in spite of it. Instead what we have with Obama is he is either proceeding or following Trump, trying to either preempt or undo what he is doing; this is not only a violation of the Logan Act, but could be viewed as trying to set up a government that acts outside the legal one. Such acts could be viewed as seditious or as treasonous.

Excuses and Double Standards By the Press

Of course what Obama is doing is perfectly acceptable to liberal sites such as New York Times, even though they put out a article saying that Flynn and Trump’s team should be careful, this law should have been used against them for daring to have foreign contact prior to taking office. I find it somewhat amazing how they seemed to have forgotten then when prior to taking office Obama had done the same exact thing. This is not a issue though, it has been done for years, president elects have things they want to get done, many times they may have preliminary meetings with foreign leaders to set a path when they take the oath of office much easier.

The problem here is not what he did while under the designation of President-Elect, rather it is what he has done after his term was done, he now is nothing more than a citizen, the powers he used to have is no more.

The Logan Act Beyond the definition

In 1795 amid escalating tensions between the US and France, Dr. George Logan of Pennsylvania who was a Pennsylvania Legislator and a pacifists, in trying to prevent a war between the US and France decided to take it upon himself and negotiate with France on behest of the US government around what the legitimate one was currently involved with [1]. 

It is of interest to note that he did this because the party he was part of had lost control of both the Senate and House along with the Office or President, it was his hostilities to what the current power, the Federalist, held in a world view, he decided he had a right to circumvent what the people voted and put what he felt was a greater interest forward. Sound familiar?

The reaction when Dr. Logan was found to be involved in such negotiations was swift, the outrage of the nation was directed at him, well other then the minority that supported his belief (sure sounds very much like the left today).

The similarities with Today

Back in the late 1700’s the majority of the news organizations shared the ideology with the democrat-republicans, they would be what the Democrats are today, instead of condemning a citizen going around the governments back, they heaped open praise on Dr. Logan. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, also of Pennsylvania, responded by suggesting that Congress “act to curb the temerity and impudence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs between France and the United States.” The result was that Rep. Roger Griswold introduced the Logan Act.

Where there is not similarities is the fact that Logan was interested in peace, not so much in protecting his legacy, there was a growing conflict between France and England, they were at the time grabbing our men off of ships and forcing them into conscription, this is what later led to the War of 1812.

France at that point stopped snatching Americans and forcing them to serve in French naval ships, but England continued, this was very much part of the reasons we went to war with them a couple of years later. 

Was Flynn in violation?

The idea of the law was to prevent any citizen from trying to negotiate outside what the sitting government is doing. It has been known that during transitions the incoming administration will reach out to foreign leaders. The fact that Flynn was questioned over this was never due to him violating the law, rather, it was the law that he lied to the FBI.

This is another law I have issue with, you would be better off to never say a word to the FBI least due to lack of memory you find yourself looking at a crime and possible prison time. This law needs to be challenged in the high court, would love to see congress strike the law, if not see it brought before the high court.

The difference is when Obama left office, his power to negotiate or partake in any way in government affairs is 100% over, that is unless the current or future administrations would ask for his help, which I promise the Trump Administration never did. 

Need to Investigate

We saw with the first foreign trip that Trump made Obama was either proceeding or following the trip, having photo ops with the leaders of foreign governments, he and they need to understand, he has no authority to do anything.

Further, if he is found to be engaged in any type of negotiations, for instance, telling them to hold off, the next president will undo all Trump is doing, that is a direct violation of the act, not to mention a undermining of the presidency. 

I think the Logan Act should be visited with this, but only if we can appoint a new Special Counsel in charge of investigating this.

To think the Justice Department or the FBI that has been shown to be in open collusion and covering up for Obama and Clinton, I have no trust in them.

I have to clarify, I think the majority of the people in both the Department of Justice and within the FBI are great people, the problem is we don’t know who that is, how far this corruption has spread, so putting trust in them for a fair and balanced investigation would be futile at this time. 

If Law is Violated, Justice Needs to Be Done

We could in the end find what Obama is doing is much more serious then just a violation of the Logan Act, and if so, he needs to be brought to justice. You may not like the current administration, and that is everyone’s right, including President Obama’s, but if he is found trying to open collude with powers that are moving to both make the current president unable to do much with all the attacks against him, then pushing further to try to take this and use it as a means to unseat him, that goes beyond dislike to outright sedition if not treasonous actions. 

 

 

  1. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33265.pdf

About The Author

Timothy Benton

Author has studied Middle East History for the last 35 years, am a lifetime student of history. Has an interest in sports, tech, history and political events. Works as a Republican political commentator who looks at events from a conservative's perspective.

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