Op-Ed

Will Michael Flynn be Prosecuted by the Logan Act?

Image: Toronto Star

On November 30th, Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. This raised questions about the Trump administration and the “Logan act.” The Logan Act forbids Americans from unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments, especially those that seek to “defeat the measures of the United States” aimed at those same countries. In short, it protects the ability of the U.S. government to conduct foreign policy without interference from private citizens.”

The Logan Act accusations started in the summer of 2016 when Donald Trump told Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. In February, the White House said that they were confident Michael Flynn didn’t say anything that violated the Logan Act. Should the Trump administration be worried? No, no one has ever been prosecuted through the Logan Act. It’s mainly just used as a political scare tactic. Newsweek wrote about how Michael Flynn probably won’t be convicted:

What the Act criminalizes is an unusually harmful subset of communications with foreign governments: ones intended to “defeat” concrete “measures” of the United States, or to undercut the authority of a sitting President by altering how foreign governments will resolve pending “disputes or controversies. In other words, the Logan Act’s limited domain ensures that transitional figures won’t be jailed for swapping pleasantries with foreign leaders or even engaging in substantive foreign-policy discussions with the United States.”

I don’t think Michael Flynn intended to do any of this especially since he’s a decorated general and was on the transition team.

Early Tuesday morning, a U.S District Court judge ordered Robert Muller to turn over any information on Michael Flynn tbe used for sentencing. A sentencing date has not been yet announced, but people have been speculating sometime in February. The majority of political sites are saying that it is going to be hard to prosecute Michael Flynn.

If they would try to prosecute Michael Flynn they would also have to prosecute Nancy Pelosi For violating the law when she went to Syria against the State Department’s wishes. Last year Robert F. Turner chimed in:

Ms. Pelosi’s trip was not authorized, and Syria is one of the world’s leading sponsors of international terrorism. It has almost certainly been involved in numerous attacks that have claimed the lives of American military personnel from Beirut to Baghdad.

Jimmy Carter also violated the Logan act. The OPU blog stated when he visited Hamas in 2008. He said that no one from the State Department told him not to, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had said:

The State Department had explicitly informed Mr. Carter that it opposed his plans to meet with leaders of Hamas.

Will these two ever be tried under the Logan Act?

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