Some people have trouble letting go of the past. Former President Barack Obama (a Democrat) is one of them. Since he left office after the 2016 U.S. election win by GOP President Donald J. Trump, Obama has been jetting around the world, meddling in affairs that are no longer properly in his wheelhouse.
Not only is this bad form, diplomatically speaking, it also happens to be illegal. A piece of legislation that is more than 200 years old prohibits any U.S. citizen “wherever he may be” from unauthorized communication with foreign powers. The Logan Act is short, simple, and to the point:
“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.”
Obama’s actions are ironic given the warning he gave to the Trump transition team, that “we only have one president at a time.”
Of course, Obama meant that he intended to keep his hands on the reins of state until the 11th minute of the 11th hour of his presidential term – and rightfully so. However, once Trump was sworn in the following January 2017, Obama needed to heed his own admonition.
In November 2017, Obama journeyed to Paris, France, where he met with French President Emanual Macron. The subject of their talks was not disclosed to the public.
This cloak-and-dagger clandestine conference was only one stop on a five-day series of visits between Obama and the heads of state of China, India, and France. Private citizen Obama’s secret communications with foreign leaders led to concerns that the former president and other top Democrats are setting up a shadow government to oppose the current U.S. administration.
The opposition government spearheaded by Obama has been labeled a “coup d’état” – the sudden defeat of a government through illegal force by a small group, often a military one.
Obama toured Asia, stopping first to chat with President Xi Jinping of China. Then, it was off to France where Obama slandered our Commander-in-Chief with the claim that U.S. citizens are the victims of a “temporary absence of American leadership.” In India, Obama jested that he had more Twitter followers than tweet-happy Trump.
Apparently, a certain former president still covets the office he vacated almost two years ago. But the bigger problem is that Obama’s globe-trotting activities were in direct violation of the federal Logan Act.
The 1799 Logan Act got its name from statesman and private citizen George Logan who took it upon himself to execute a political end run around President John Adams, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. In 1798, Logan voyaged to revolutionary France to soothe ruffled international trade feathers after the U.S. sided with France’s mortal enemy Britain by passing the 1794 Jay Treaty.
Although Logan did manage to conclude a pact whereby France ceased all detrimental actions against U.S. merchant ships which may well have prevented the outbreak of war between France and the newly formed United States, his actions were regarded as treasonous once he got home.
It was the job of the prevailing administration to negotiate diplomatically with French representatives about trade matters, not a self-propelled individual.
Adams, Hamilton, and Jefferson each had their own ideas about how to deal with the British (our mortal enemy up until the end of the American Revolution in 1776) and the French (our ally during the American Revolution). They never got the chance, thanks to the overly-eager Logan.
To prevent further such incidents, the Logan Act was passed on January 30, 1799. Evidently, it worked, because there has been only one indictment under this law, a case that was never prosecuted in the early 19th century. Until now, that is.
Obama isn’t the only high-ranking Democrat who flaunts the law. John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of State from (2013 to 2017), a United States senator from Massachusetts (1985 to 2013), and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, was called out last May for “meeting with foreign sources, including the Iranian ambassador to the U.N., in order to promote a common foreign policy agenda with the Iranian regime (protecting the Iran deal) at the expense of the current Administration.”
If true, this is a clear violation of the Logan Act by another top Democratic leader. Yet, according to the National Review, the problem isn’t that Kerry may be guilty of a treasonous federal crime but the law itself. “Congress should repeal the Logan Act,” wrote Dan McLaughlin on May 5, 2018.
Woulda, shoulda, coulda, Mr. McLaughlin. If Kerry has been actively campaigning to undermine the Trump administration’s efforts, let justice be served under the law as it now stands.
“Fringe media” is the pejorative term applied by another Leftist writer to any reporter who can read and understand the Logan Act. Sarah Wasko displayed her own legal ignorance while slinging some political mud when she herself stated:
“The right-wing hysteria took on a new level of feverishness after Obama met with a handful of former and current world leaders, some of whom he worked closely with as president.”
Do we sound hysterical to you? In a court of law, the phrase “after Obama met with a handful of former and current world leaders,” pretty much sums up the case for the prosecution. The verdict: guilty as charged.
Make no mistake about it: any politician who violates the Logan Act does so knowingly and with free will.
How long will the rest of us allow criminals like Kerry, Obama, and the Clintons to get away with treason?