John Kerry’s Rogue Diplomacy Could Land Him in Prison
On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, demanding that the Justice Department open an investigation into meetings former Secretary of State John Kerry had with Iranian officials after President Trump took office.
Speculation – and in certain ways, it is beyond speculation – has it that Kerry has been sabotaging the Trump administration’s policies towards Iran in a vain effort to salvage his own nuclear deal legacy. While Kerry was unable to prevent Trump from de-certifying the nuclear deal, the president still believes that Kerry is standing in the way of real diplomatic progress with the Islamist nation.
“The Department of Justice should therefore make a determination on whether or not former Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent actions related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran potentially violate the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Rubio wrote.
Rubio’s letter comes on the heels of President Trump’s stern warning to Kerry in remarks to reporters last week.
“What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me,” Trump said. “John Kerry speaks to them a lot, and John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act, and frankly he should be prosecuted on that.”
The Kerry team says Rubio and Trump are barking up the wrong tree.
“Everything President Trump said today is simply wrong, end of story,” a spokesperson told CNN. “He’s wrong about the facts, wrong about the law, and sadly he’s been wrong about how to use diplomacy to keep America safe.”
Not everyone is so sure.
Since practically the beginning of Trump’s presidency, Kerry has been jetting around the world to meet with current and former Iranian officials in an effort to keep the nuclear agreement intact. At one point, he advised Iranian government aides not to negotiate with Trump and instead to simply wait out his presidency. Experts see that as a violation of the Logan Act, a somewhat-obscure law that prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments as if they were representatives of said government. With Kerry only months out of his position at the State Department, the lines are even blurrier. He could have easily misled Iran, giving them reason to believe he was still in charge of U.S. foreign policy. Or, at the very least, that he still had inroads with the administration.
If Kerry wants to put his stamp on U.S. foreign policy, he can throw his hat into the ring with the other 375 Democrats running for president. Otherwise, he needs to sit down and shut up. If he doesn’t, he may have to conduct future meetings with Iranian officials through a thick pane of bulletproof glass.