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In Trump-Russia Probe, Was It All About The Logan Act? Obama Team Used Logan Act To Entangle Trump On Day 1... Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Liz 

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  Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:51 PM

In Trump-Russia Probe, Was It All About The Logan Act?

Washington Examiner
by Byron York
Dec 3, 2017, 10:06 PM

Excerpt:

The documents outlining Michael Flynn's guilty plea in the Trump-Russia investigation do not allege collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election. They do, however, suggest that the Obama Justice Department was intensely interested in Flynn's discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about policy issues sanctions against Russia, a United Nations resolution on Israel during the presidential transition, when Barack Obama was still in the White House and Donald Trump was preparing to take office.

At the time, top Justice officials suspected Flynn of violating the Logan Act, the 218-year-old law under which no one has ever been prosecuted, that prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the United States in disputes with foreign governments. Starting in the summer of 2016 and intensifying in the transition period, the Logan Act, while mostly unknown to the general public, became a hot topic of conversation among some Democrats. A number of lawmakers, former officials, and commentators called on the Obama administration to investigate the Trump team for a possible Logan Act violations and to do it while Democrats still controlled the executive branch.

At the same time, inside the Obama Justice Department, it appears the Logan Act became a paramount concern among some key officials in the critical weeks of December 2016 and January 2017. Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has told Congress that the Logan Act was the first reason she intervened in the Flynn case the reason FBI agents were sent to the White House to interview Flynn in the Trump administration's early days. It was that interview, held on Jan. 24, 2017, that ultimately led to Flynn's guilty plea.

In short, there's no doubt the Logan Act, a law dismissed as a joke or an archaic irrelevancy or simply unconstitutional by many legal experts, played a central role in the Obama administration's aggressive and enormously consequential investigation of its successor.

Democrats began accusing Trump of Logan Act violations in the summer of 2016, immediately after the Republican convention, when Trump sarcastically invited Russia to produce the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton deleted rather than turn over to investigators. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said during a July 27 news conference. "I think that you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press let's see if that happens, that'll be nice."

The next day, Tom Vilsack, Obama's secretary of agriculture and on Hillary Clinton's vice presidential short list, accused Trump of violating the Logan Act. "That's a no-no, you can't do that," Vilsack said. "That's not legal."

Following Vilsack was Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. "I believe it violates the Logan Act," McCaskill said, "and I think he should be investigated for that."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's statement "a treasonous act." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said it "borders on treason."

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe weighed in the next day. "The Logan Act, which was enacted back in 1799 and fundamentally says that you cannot engage in negotiations with a foreign power," Tribe told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "It hasn't been used, but that's because we haven't had very many Donald Trumps, thank God, in our history. I think he's violated that act."

*snip*

There wasn't much public discussion of the Logan Act in October and November, as the campaign reached its final weeks and the political world dealt with the shock of Trump's victory. The subject re-emerged in December as Democrats, stunned and angry, watched Trump prepare for the presidency and prepare to undo many of Obama's policies.

On Dec. 8, Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman introduced the "One President at a Time Act of 2016." The bill would have amended the Logan Act to specify that a president-elect, or anyone acting on a president-elect's behalf, was specifically subject to its restrictions. The bill "just makes it explicitly clear that the president-elect is just like every other private citizen during the transition period," Huffmann told MSNBC's O'Donnell. "They can't go around purporting to conduct U.S. foreign policy."

On Dec. 20, Reps. Conyers and Sheila Jackson Lee asked the Justice Department to investigate Trump for a possible violation of the Logan Act.

On Dec. 22, former Obama State Department official Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that Trump's actions on a UN resolution concerning Israeli settlements implicated the Logan Act. "People have said to me today it crosses the line of the Logan Act," Sherman said. "We have one president at a time. And Donald Trump is really playing with fire."

On the day Sherman appeared, Flynn spoke on the phone with Kislyak about that pending U.N. resolution concerning Israeli settlements. "Flynn informed the Russian ambassador about the incoming administration's opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution," said the "Statement of the Offense," the Mueller document released with Flynn's guilty plea. The next day, Dec. 23, the two men spoke again and Kislyak informed Flynn that Russia would not do as the Trump team requested.

A few days later, on Dec. 29, Flynn and Kislyak spoke again, according to the Mueller statement. This time the subject was the new sanctions Obama imposed on Russia in retaliation for election meddling. Flynn "requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. sanctions in a reciprocal manner."

Two days later, on Dec. 31, Kislyak called Flynn to say that "Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to Flynn's request."

U.S. intelligence agencies recorded the calls; Kislyak was the subject of American monitoring, so a wiretap on him on these occasions picked up Flynn, too. It appears Obama administration officials immediately saw the Flynn-Kislyak conversations as a possible Logan Act violation. They knew, of course, that given the history of the law, a Logan Act prosecution was a virtual impossibility. They knew that many foreign policy experts would see such contacts between an incoming administration and a foreign power as an acceptable and normal course of business in a presidential transition. Nevertheless, approaching the Flynn-Kislyak talks in the context of a criminal violation the Logan Act gave the Obama team a pretense to target Flynn, and thus the new Trump administration.

*snip*

Full Story
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#2 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:55 PM

I'm sure the democrats were all up in arms for this Logan Act violation too.
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#3 User is online   Tea Party Hooligan 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 02:13 PM

Quote

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe weighed in the next day. "The Logan Act, which was enacted back in 1799 and fundamentally says that you cannot engage in negotiations with a foreign power," Tribe told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "It hasn't been used, but that's because we haven't had very many Donald Trumps, thank God, in our history. I think he's violated that act."


Where was this twerp when John f-ing Kerry went to Paris and sat down with North Vietnamese negotiators while he was still a member of the United States Navy?

Oh, I forgot, Kerry's a leftist, so it's all good.

I see my brother Reggie beat me to it.

This post has been edited by Tea Party Hooligan: 04 December 2017 - 02:13 PM

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#4 User is online   ThePatriot 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 02:57 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 04 December 2017 - 01:55 PM, said:

I'm sure the democrats were all up in arms for this Logan Act violation too.

I'm confident there are many examples in our history that, if brought before a judge, would result in any case citing the Logan-Act to be thrown out of court.
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#5 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:02 PM

View PostThePatriot, on 04 December 2017 - 02:57 PM, said:

I'm confident there are many examples in our history that, if brought before a judge, would result in any case citing the Logan-Act to be thrown out of court.



As usual I am disgusted by liberal/proggy/democrat behavior. They choose to whine about laws only when it suits them (i.e. they think they can hammer anyone who doesn't think like them).
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#6 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:14 PM

View PostLiz, on 04 December 2017 - 01:51 PM, said:

In short, there's no doubt the Logan Act, a law dismissed as a joke or an archaic irrelevancy or simply unconstitutional by many legal experts, played a central role in the Obama administration's aggressive and enormously consequential investigation of its successor.



Said "legal experts" up to and including the Federal 2nd District (Southern District New York):

"...Another infirmity in defendants' claim that plaintiff violated the Logan Act is the existence of a doubtful question with regard to the constitutionality of that statute under the Sixth Amendment. That doubt is engendered by the statute's use of the vague and indefinite terms, "defeat" and "measures." See United States v. Shackney, 333 F.2d 475, (2d Cir. 1964); Note, The Void-For-Vagueness Doctrine in the Supreme Court, 109 U.Pa.L.Rev. 67 (1960); E. Freund, The Use of Indefinite Terms in Statutes, 30 Yale L.J. 437 (1921). Neither of these words is an abstraction of common certainty or possesses a definite statutory or judicial definition."
- Waldron v. British Petroleum Co., 231 F. Supp. 72 (S.D.N.Y. 1964)


The Logan Act doesn't make it illegal to merely "Talk" to a foreign government. It's only illegal depending on "Intent" which the above court has already said is too vaguely worded:

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.

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.
- 18 U.S. Code § 953 - Private correspondence with foreign governmentsaka "Logan Act".


Plus, most prosecutors and lawyers will say, "Intent" is often one of the hardest things to prove.

This post has been edited by Dean Adam Smithee: 04 December 2017 - 03:14 PM

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#7 User is offline   That_Guy 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:19 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 04 December 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

Plus, most prosecutors and lawyers will say, "Intent" is often one of the hardest things to prove.


Unless, of course, there is already evidence of an existing agreement like exchanging the release of stolen/damaging information about Trump's opponent for sanctions relief (for example).
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#8 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:20 PM

Of course the same proggy commie dems never said a word for decades about all of their people attending the annual Bilderberg meetings in direct violation of the Logan act?

****ing hypocrites.
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#9 User is online   ThePatriot 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:42 PM

View PostThat_Guy, on 04 December 2017 - 03:19 PM, said:

Unless, of course, there is already evidence of an existing agreement like exchanging the release of stolen/damaging information about Trump's opponent for sanctions relief (for example).

:biglaugh:

That's as effective an argument as "chambered round".

:biglaugh:
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#10 User is offline   Noclevermoniker 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 04:53 PM

View PostThat_Guy, on 04 December 2017 - 03:19 PM, said:

Unless, of course, there is already evidence of an existing agreement like exchanging the release of stolen/damaging information about Trump's opponent for sanctions relief (for example).

Unless you have some proof, Skippy, you should stick to stealing sneakers.
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#11 User is online   Censport 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:19 PM

View PostThePatriot, on 04 December 2017 - 03:42 PM, said:

:biglaugh:

That's as effective an argument as "chambered round".

:biglaugh:

Which KogDiss actually thought was an effective argument.

:biglaugh:

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#12 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:13 PM

View PostThat_Guy, on 04 December 2017 - 03:19 PM, said:

Unless, of course, there is already evidence of an existing agreement like exchanging the release of stolen/damaging information about Trump's opponent for sanctions relief (for example).

Keep on grasping and being the bitter clinger to that :bs: .


:biglaugh:
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