The Logan Act states the following:
"Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."
However, 47 U.S. Senators, including Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and ex-Presidential candidate John McCain, decided to ignore that law and write a letter to the leader of Iran, threatening that any treaty made with President Obama wouldn't be ratified by them. So they have broken the Logan Act and shamed the United States once again on a global scale.
I'm proud to say that neither Senator from Tennessee signed this letter. Good for Corker and Alexander showing they can stand up to the mob!
In a highly unusual move, a group of 47 Republicans in the upper chamber has written to Iran’s top leaders to let them know that any nuclear deal they reach with the United States would be “nothing more than an executive agreement.”
Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) organized the letter, which features signatures from top Republican Senate leadership and potential presidential candidates such as Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
The following Republican senators did not sign the bill: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Dan Coats of Indiana, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
. . . The letter, first reported by Bloomberg View columnist Josh Rogin, is meant to turn up the heat on President Barack Obama to give Congress some power over the nuclear negotiations.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress,” the senators wrote. “Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.”
Tom Cotton has said before that his goal is to blow up Iran negotiations and push regime change http://t.co/zztsfVrPUq— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 9, 2015
It's bad enough that Congress allowed Netanyahu to make his case just last week, but this goes beyond taking advice from a foreign leader. This is tampering with the Constitutional duties of the President of the U.S., who is the only one who can make treaties with foreign leaders.
In a case of classic Group Think behavior, the group of 47 followed the lead of the Junior Senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, a yahoo if there ever was one. They have followed him out on a limb and right over a cliff on this one. If Pres. Obama and the Democrats had the will and the nerve, they would throw the book at all of them and slap them in prison on treason or sedition charges. But unfortunately, that's not how Washington works, so this will probably just be another embarassment to our country that we don't do anything about, like school shootings and Tea Party led shutdowns.
Senator Harry Reid, Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate spoke out:
From The Hill
“Republicans are undermining our commander in chief while empowering the ayatollahs,” he said from the Senate floor. “We should always have robust debate about foreign policy, but it's unprecedented for one political party to directly intervene in an international negotiation with the sole goal of embarrassing the president of the United States.”
We definitely agree with Harry Reid. Do you?....#UniteBlue #GOPletter pic.twitter.com/Xsw0yPC2t6
— Sly Dude (@SlyDude3677) March 10, 2015
Harry Reid Calls Out GOP On Senate Floor: Republicans Undermining Our President While Empowering Iran's Hardliners https://t.co/a7KlKT5rvi
— Lnonblonde (@Lnonblonde) March 10, 2015
And Iran's government responded to the letter, schooling the Senate on how this works:
From Washington Post
“It has come to our attention while observing” the negotiations, the letter says, “that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif got an undergraduate and master’s degree from San Francisco University in international relations and another master’s from the University of Denver, so it’s possible he knows. (The president, however, went to college in Scotland.)
Zarif dismissed the letter — and lectured the authors — Monday as “propaganda.”
. . . “We believe that the letter has no legal value and is propaganda,” Zarif said, quoted in Iranian media. “The senators must know that under international law, Congress cannot change the content of the agreement,” he said, and “any congressional action to prevent the implementation of any agreement will violate [Washington's] international commitments.”
He then said: “The world is not just in America.”
Vice President Joe Biden was much more blunt about the letter:
Via Huff Post
In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country -- much less a longtime foreign adversary -- that the President does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them. This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments -- a message that is as false as it is dangerous," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
"The decision to undercut our President and circumvent our constitutional system offends me as a matter of principle. As a matter of policy, the letter and its authors have also offered no viable alternative to the diplomatic resolution with Iran that their letter seeks to undermine."
47 Senators Terrified Peace may break out with Iran after Sheldon paid for a War.— CatoTheYounger (@catoletters) March 10, 2015
Junior Senator Cotton has just become Hanoi Jane. #morningjoe— Slobbering Goober (@slobbergoober) March 10, 2015
I'd like to remind every Democrat in Arkansas who didn't show up to vote in November that Tom Cotton is your fault.— Malcolm Johnson (@admiralmpj) March 10, 2015
Everybody realizing today how reckless Tom Cotton is makes me feel like the crop duster who was abducted by aliens in Independence Day.— Patrick Burgwinkle (@Burgwinkle) March 10, 2015
They danced with Sedition with the shutdown, flirted with Treason with Bibi, and now #47traitors have gone all the way. IMO— pianogirl126 (@pianogirl126) March 10, 2015
#47Traitors would've been Gitmo'd if they'd done that under Cheney-Bush. With Fox shrieking for the firing squad.— Larry Gassan (@larrygassan) March 10, 2015
You'd think Republican Senators would want to avoid the number 47. It still haunts Mitt & will go down in infamy w/these fools. #47Traitors— Beth Houston (@MacBethSpeaks) March 10, 2015