House Republicans move to repeal law Trump wants to use against John Kerry

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Republicans are calling the law Trump wants to use to prosecute Kerry 'archaic' and 'useless.'

A group of House Republicans introduced a bill on Friday to repeal the Logan Act, a centuries-old federal law barring unauthorized Americans from having negotiations with hostile foreign regimes.

But Donald Trump has previously said the law should be used to prosecute former Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).

"Today, I introduced the TRAP Act to repeal the 1799 Logan Act, a law recently used by [James Comey's] politicized FBI to set up General Flynn," Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) tweeted. "The Logan Act is an archaic & useless law. In 221 years of existence, only 2 people have been prosecuted under the Act & both were acquitted."

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Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Greg Steube (R-FL), and Scott Perry (R-PA) signed on as original co-sponsors.

Reschenthaler was referring to Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who made and concealed a December 2016 call to Russia's ambassador to the United States after the Obama administration announced sanctions against the country. Flynn was not prosecuted for that possible violation of the Logan Act, but he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the conversation.

Trump's Department of Justice still decided this week to drop the charges during the sentencing phase of the prosecution — a move critics called "blatantly corrupt."

While the Logan Act has rarely been enforced, Donald Trump repeatedly accused Kerry and Murphy (D-CT) of violating it after they spoke with Iranian officials at separate international events.

In May 2019, Trump said Kerry should be prosecuted for his conversation with Iran.

"John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That's a violation of the law," Trump claimed. "And frankly he should be prosecuted on that. But my people don't want to do anything that's... only the Democrats do that kind of stuff. You know? If it were the opposite way, they'd prosecute him under the Logan Act. But John Kerry violated the Logan Act."

Trump renewed the call just three months ago. "Kerry & Murphy illegally violated the Logan Act. This is why Iran is not making a deal. Must be dealt with strongly!" Trump tweeted in February.

Kerry told Fox News at the time that Trump's accusation was "once again, another presidential lie, a complete effort by the president to distort reality." Neither Kerry nor Murphy has been charged with any crime.

Nunes upon learning of Kerry's conversation with an Iranian official in 2019 tweeted: "OMG! Logan Act violations!!  Send in the G Men..."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.