John Kerry secret meetings with Iran to salvage nuke deal – shadow diplomacy or undermining Trump foreign policy?
The Obama admin just can’t help itself and seeks to undermine Trump at every turn
We are now learning that former Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting secretly with foreign governments in an effort to salvage what Netanyahu has long-insisted is a bad deal. Kerry’s goal, apparently, is to encourage world leaders to pressure President Trump into keeping the Iran deal in place.
John Kerry’s bid to save one of his most significant accomplishments as secretary of state took him to New York on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, where, more than a year after he left office, he engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official.
He sat down at the United Nations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration, according to a person briefed on the meetings.
With the Iran deal facing its gravest threat since it was signed in 2015, Kerry has been on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to preserve it, using his deep lists of contacts gleaned during his time as the top US diplomat to try to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside. President Trump, who has consistently criticized the pact and campaigned in 2016 on scuttling it, faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to continue abiding by its terms.
Kerry also met last month with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and he’s been on the phone with top European Union official Federica Mogherini, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal the private meetings. Kerry has also met with French President Emmanuel Macron in both Paris and New York, conversing over the details of sanctions and regional nuclear threats in both French and English.
While it’s not uncommon for former Secretaries of State to remain in contact with foreign leaders, it is unusual for one to do so with such a specific agenda. It’s hard to imagine what kind of bargaining position Kerry, now a private citizen, has or why our foreign allies would even agree to meet with him about such a specific and contentious issue—and at the risk of riling the current American president.
The Globe continues:
“It is unusual for a former secretary of state to engage in foreign policy like this, as an actual diplomat and quasi-negotiator,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution. “Of course, former secretaries of state often remain quite engaged with foreign leaders, as they should, but it’s rarely so issue-specific, especially when they have just left office.”
Needless to say this move has created quite the furor.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 5, 2018
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) had a little fun with the Kerry report, tweeting:
OMG! Logan Act violations!! Send in the G Men… https://t.co/FA1dydJGQb
— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) May 4, 2018
He was, of course, lampooning the repeated attempts of the left to “get” Trump with the Logan Act . . . up to and including “former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was concerned that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had violated the Logan Act during the presidential transition period after he discussed policy issues with a Russian envoy.”
Have often argued that 1799 Logan Act, used as pretext to question Michael Flynn, is dead. So IMHO it's dead for John Kerry, too. But if you believe Logan Act was used legitimately against Flynn, you've got to want a DOJ/FBI Kerry investigation…
— Byron York (@ByronYork) May 5, 2018
This, of course, works both ways.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry would be violating the Logan Act, if it was enforced, for secretly speaking with foreign leaders about salvaging the Iran nuclear deal during Trump’s presidency, Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz argued Saturday.
No one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act, a more than 200-year-old law that prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the U.S. in negotiations with foreign governments without authorization.
“Fortunately for everybody, the Logan Act [is a] dead letter but if it were in existence, my friend John Kerry would be violating the Logan Act,” Dershowitz told “Fox & Friends.”
“He is negotiating, though he is not in the administration, and there are real problems with doing that,” he continued.
. . . . “John is a friend of mine. I’ve known him for a long, long time. But remember how this investigation against Trump begins,” Dershowitz said. “It begins by the theory that people in the Trump campaign may be violating the Logan Act, by going and speaking to people when they haven’t yet been president.”
The Obama administration just can’t help itself and seeks to undermine Trump at every turn.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.