While speaking with reporters on Thursday, Trump accused Kerry of committing a “violation of the Logan Act,” which is a law that prohibits the representation of U.S. interests as a private citizen.
“John Kerry speaks to them a lot, and John Kerry tells them not to call,” Trump claimed of Kerry’s communication with Iran. “That’s a violation of the Logan Act, and frankly, he should be prosecuted on that.”
The president then added that he would like to proceed with prosecuting Kerry, but says he can’t because “people don’t want to do anything,” because “only the Democrats do that kind of stuff.”
Watch the video below:
Trump says he would like Iran to call him. ☎️ pic.twitter.com/lIrKDfiJs2
— Negar Mortazavi (@NegarMortazavi) May 9, 2019
“John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He’s talking to Iran and has been,” he sharply added.
But there are a few issues here.
First off, Trump’s claim that “people” don’t like the idea of prosecuting Kerry appears to insinuate he has discussed the topic of potentially investigating another one of his adversaries, something that Attorney General William Barr has not approached with much transparency when confronted on the matter, as IJR Blue noted.
Trump’s apparent 180 on the Logan Act is also worth noting, as he struck a completely different tone when commenting on former advisor Michael Flynn’s discussions of sanctions with Russia when he was still a private citizen ahead of Trump’s inauguration.
“It certainly would have been okay with me if he did it,” Trump previously said of the situation. “I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn’t doing it.”
Finally, there is little basis for Trump’s claims that Kerry broke the law, as the former Secretary of State’s spokesperson explained while rebuking the president soon after his comments.
“Everything President Trump said today is simply wrong, end of story. 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,” the spokesperson told CNN.
“Secretary Kerry helped negotiate a nuclear agreement that helped to solve an intractable problem. The world supported it then, supports it now. We’d hope the president would focus on solving foreign policy problems for America rather than attacking his predecessors for theater,” she added.