Republican Congressmen Violated Logan Act By Negotiating With Foreign Leaders

They’re Trying to Destroy the Founding Fathers’ Vision of Separation of Powers

We’ve repeatedly pointed out that America is being decimated by the break down in the separation of powers between different branches of government.

The latest example is Congressional violation of the Logan Act. Specifically, the Logan Act – enacted in 1799 –  states:

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.

The Logan Act was named for Dr. George Logan, a  Pennsylvania state legislator (and later US Senator) who engaged in semi-negotiations with France in 1798 during the Quasi-War.

In United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936), Justice Sutherland wrote in the majority opinion:

[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it.

Sutherland also notes in his opinion the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report to the Senate of February 15, 1816:

The President is the constitutional representative of the United States with regard to foreign nations. He manages our concerns with foreign nations, and must necessarily be most competent to determine when, how, and upon what subjects negotiation may be urged with the greatest prospect of success. For his conduct, he is responsible to the Constitution.

I happen to think that Obama is a tyrant who – like Bush – should be impeached for trampling the Constitution.  But two wrongs don’t make a right …

In inviting the leader of Israel to speak directly to the American Congress without the U.S. president’s assent, Congressional Republicans violated the Logan Act. See this, this and this.

Likewise, directly telling the leaders of Iran that America won’t honor Obama’s negotiated commitments is a violation of the Logan Act.   Indeed, the Senator who organized the effort admitted that his intent was to sabotage negotiations with Iran.

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