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Logan Act Used as Pretext to Investigate Flynn (READ: Court Docs)

Posted by FactReal on December 18, 2018

12/4/2018: FLYNN’S SENTENCING MEMO CITED THE ‘LOGAN ACT’…BUT IT DOES NOT APPLY TO THE PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TEAM

Summary:
* Under this dormant 218-year old statute no one has ever been convicted.
* It prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with foreign governments
* But it does not apply to members of presidential transition teams.
* Lawyers, judges, and constitutional scholars regard the law as unconstitutional.
* Every president-elect has his transition members engage with foreign governments to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.
* Yet Democrats seized on the Logan Act at the end of the Obama administration as a pretext to investigate the Trump team, and to interview Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.

[Also see: Nothing Wrong with Flynn Talking to Russia during Transition]

READ THE COURT DOCUMENT: (Mueller’s Sentencing Memo for Flynn)
Name: GOVERNMENT’S MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING
Case 1:17-cr-00232-EGS Document 46 Filed 12/04/18
PDF: Justice Department | Scribd | Google

REPORT: Prosecutors recommend no jail for Trump’s ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn
Via CBS: (12/4/2018)

Special counsel Robert Mueller filed a sentencing memo Tuesday night [12/4/2018] suggesting that Michael Flynn has given the government “substantial assistance,” and it recommends that Flynn serve no time for making a false statement to the FBI. The sentencing guidelines for Flynn’s offense suggest zero to six months of incarceration. […]

Flynn met with the special counsel 19 times as part of his agreement to cooperate with the government in its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. According to the filing, Flynn has been cooperating in “several ongoing investigations.”

ANALYSIS: Logan Act used as pretext to investigate Trump team:
From Kimberley A. Strassel‘s article, ‘Mueller’s Gift to Obama’: (12/6/2018)

The Flynn sentencing document, meanwhile, contained yet another outrageous gift to Obama alumni. In laying out the “serious” nature of Mr. Flynn’s crimes, the document asserts that one of the questions about the Flynn-Kislyak discussion was whether “the defendant’s actions violated the Logan Act,” a 1799 statute that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments that are in dispute with the U.S.

Only two defendants have ever been charged under the Logan Act, the more recent one in 1852, and neither was convicted. It is normal for members of a presidential transition team to talk to their foreign counterparts, and on all manner of subjects. Yet Democrats seized on the Logan Act in the waning days of the Obama administration as a pretext to investigate the Trump team, and to intervene in the Flynn case. It was on Logan Act grounds that then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates dispatched FBI agents to interview Mr. Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017—the interview now central to Mr. Mueller’s charge that he lied to investigators.

It’s hard to overstate how unserious the Logan Act claim is. If Mr. Mueller has no case to make that Mr. Flynn violated the Logan Act, he has no business bringing it up. The only conceivable reason to throw it in was to give cover to the Obama officials who used it as their excuse to target Mr. Flynn in the first place, which they then used to help justify the appointment of a special counsel.

ANALYSIS: Logan Act doesn’t apply to presidential transition members like Flynn:
From Gregg Jarrett ‘s article headlined, ‘Mueller strikes out trying to nail Trump – Flynn sentencing memo is a big nothing’: (12/5/2018)

[T]he Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with foreign governments… Lawyers, judges, and constitutional scholars regard the law as unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, this long dormant law does not apply to members of presidential transition teams who are acting not as private citizens, but as incoming government representatives of the person about to assume the presidency. They would therefore be constitutionally authorized to conduct foreign affairs. Every president-elect has his transition members engage with foreign governments to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.

Not even Mueller would be foolish enough to bring a case under the Logan Act, especially since Flynn did not interfere in a diplomatic dispute under the meaning of the act. To the contrary, Flynn sought ways to de-escalate tensions over U.S. sanctions President Obama imposed on Russia by asking the Russian government to limit its response “in a reciprocal manner.”

By doing this, Flynn was acting for the benefit of the U.S. government and in a manner not inconsistent with the Obama administration’s wishes and policy.

ANALYSIS: Israel Claim Does Not Fall under Logan Act:
Gregg Jarrett: also clarified: (12/5/2018)

Flynn’s other contact with Russia, also referenced in the court documents, dealt with a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements on the West Bank. However, this, too, would not fall under the Logan Act, since the U.S. took no position on the U.N. resolution. By abstaining, it neither supported the resolution nor opposed it.

And since the U.N. measure imposed no sanctions, it was nothing more than an idle diplomatic statement. Flynn, or anyone else in the incoming Trump administration, can hardly be accused of interfering.

RELATED
Nothing Wrong with Flynn Talking to Russia during Transition
Flynn Targeted for Destruction? He Opposed Obama Policies
Crimes Against Flynn Ignored by Mueller
Comey: “I Sent FBI to Flynn, Broke Protocol and Got Away with It” (Video)

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