Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter Monday to Attorney General William Barr asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether former Secretary of State John Kerry violated the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in his dealings with Iran since leaving office.
Rubio had previously sent a similar letter in September to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is now merely making the same request of Barr. In his original letter, Rubio described multiple instances of Kerry attempting to work with Iran to keep the Obama administration’s Iran Deal in place, even though President Donald Trump backed out of the deal in May 2018.
“[F]ormer Secretary Kerry publicly admitted that he has met with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif ‘probably three or four times,’ including in the United States, since leaving office,” Rubio wrote to Sessions. “This admission confirms The Boston Globe’s news report of May 4, 2018, that Kerry had ‘sat down at the United Nations [in New York] with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of preserving’ the [Iran Deal], and that ‘[i]t was the second time in about two months that the two met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration.’”
Kerry, Rubio also pointed out, also attempted to persuade Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to preserve the Iran Deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He also met with several European leaders to discuss various foreign policy matters.
The Logan Act and FARA are two obscure laws that have recently come to the general public’s attention due to the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. During the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations, Flynn met with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak about voting against or delaying a vote at the U.N. condemning Israel. Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner also spoke to foreign government officials in an attempt to stop or delay the vote, which the Obama administration purposefully worked to delay until after the 2016 election.
It was suggested that Flynn be charged under these obscure laws while Mueller investigated the Trump campaign.
Trump had suggested last week that Kerry be charged for violating the Logan Act due to his dealings involving the Iran Deal. The thinking among many on the right goes: If Flynn violated these laws, how is Kerry not violating them as well?
The problem here is that Flynn ended up not being charged under the Logan Act. He was indicted on FARA violations, but plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. Prior to Mueller’s investigation, exactly zero people had been charged under FARA since 1966. So, Rubio is looking at an uphill battle even with an attorney general who seems intent on unravelling the Russia-collusion hoax.
“The American people deserve to know that U.S. laws are enforced regardless of any individual’s past position. The Department of Justice should therefore make a determination on whether or not former Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent actions related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran potentially violate the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Rubio concluded in his letter to Barr.