Will Trump Be The First Person Prosecuted Under The Logan Act?

Can the President be convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors while sitting in office? If Mueller finds something, will Republicans call for impeachment?

The President has a certain level of what's referred to as sovereign immunity but does that extend to the President actually committing crimes, particularly before he was in office? Because some of these allegations are coming from late December of last year.

For example, the Logan Act violations.

The Logan Act is a law that was passed in 1799. It's a real old law and what they were concerned about back then was, first of all you had about a third of America who'd been opposed to the American Revolution to begin with and still wanted us to be part of England. And the founders and framers and the early legislators were very conscious of that.

So probably by the time the Logan Act was passed there was a broad consensus that this is America, but they were worried about anybody trying to go out and do foreign policy on behalf of the United States when foreign policy is the province of the President of the Executive Branch, the State Department.

And so the law says that if you're engaging in foreign policy with a foreign government, you have broken the law. Now, only two people have ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act in the 200 years it's been on the law books and nobody's ever been convicted.

But it looks like that's the big one, that Kushner and Flynn may have breached by talking to the Russian ambassador and saying don't overreact to the sanctions that President Obama's putting in. Keep in mind, Barack Obama was President of the United States at the time that Mike Flynn was reaching out to the Russians and saying don't freak out about the sanctions.

That's a fairly clear Logan Act violation for Flynn.

If Trump ordered it, it's also a clear Logan Act violation for Trump.

I'm very skeptical that they would prosecute him for this, particularly given the fact that nobody has ever been successfully prosecuted under this law. That's the biggest problem although the Supreme Court reaffirmed in 1991 in a case before the court that the Logan Act is still a viable thing.

But the principal way that you hold the President accountable for pretty much anything is through the process of impeachment and there is a conviction that happens in the United States Senate. Bill Clinton was not convicted - his conviction was short one vote. Same with President Andrew Johnson in 1868, who'd been Abraham Lincoln's Vice President.

So it seems to me that the principal vehicle that we have to focus on would probably be impeachment.

Now there's a third option, too, that is not a criminal one, it's not a legal one, it's not using the courts - and that's the 25th Amendment. And that's if the Vice President and the Cabinet or a majority of the Cabinet agree that the President is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" then they submit that to the House of Representatives. The House representatives vote on it and boom, the President is gone and the Vice President becomes becomes the President.

So we'll just have to wait and see.

We're in one of those points in time right now where we really don't know what Mueller has on these guys or what he might still get. So there's still a way to go and let's just hang on.


goducks's picture
goducks 5 years 25 weeks ago

Not a chance. It's pretty obvious that the republicans are more concerned with getting their agenda passed than moral or ethicle values. Roy Moore is the best example.

Trump will sign anything they slap on his desk so why would they try and let him be removed? Doesn't any of this have to go through the house?

Legend 5 years 25 weeks ago

Why did anyone elect a POTUS that refused to show his taxes? You were asking for corruption.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 5 years 25 weeks ago

To address the posted question by Thom; Logan Act prosecution? Probably not. 25th Ammendment? Seriously doubt it due to the tax scam. He is the "useful fool" to the Republican fascist movement and is safe from them till they pass it. If they somehow get their tax scam into law Trump will be toast and probably banished to Siberia if Putin will take him. What a sorry state of affairs we live in. Rather interesting though, really. Alabamans think it's better to vote a "mall troll" (for barely teenagers) and then base their support of him citing biblical references and say that's better than having a Democrat senator from Alabama? Yes; now black is white, up is down, and common decency done with. It will be "money laundering" that gets the Trump/Putin crime enterprise and that has been happening for years, way before the campaign started. He is a rat in a barrell and the "merry people" around him are too. I'm curious; if Hillary/Chealsa owned a property that had the address of "666" (Kushner) what in the hell would these bible beating fundemental (supposed) Christians be saying? The Southern Baptist Gospel Fundamentalist Church (on the Frontage road congregants) are the same as Muslims that use their religon to justify terrorism. What a shame on humanity!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 25 weeks ago

Diane the sales girl!..... Regarding your comment #27 Dec 4th. You're not getting off that easy.

In summary your answer to my question was: "When Republicans are in office, my income goes up." Is that all you got? Really? I hope you didn't hurt yourself with the overly thoughtful defense of Kochpublicans...LMAO.

Congratulations.....the increase, however small, in your personal income during Kochpublican rule means more to you than the survival of the human race. Do you happen to have grandchildren?

Nothing like cocky Libertarians proudly expressing their selfish and shortsighted personal agendas.

Hey Diane... A complex world demands more than self-serving light thinkers obsessed with nothing more than money and power running the show.....and I'm afraid we're all about to find out why.

randolphgarrison1@gmail.com's picture
randolphgarriso... 5 years 25 weeks ago

NOT POSSIBLE! trump administration and the corrupt politicians are protecting him every step of the way. It seems they want this Fascist takeover of America. This has been in the works since before Truman and most likely will aculeate before the next election cycle. The corrupt republicans have already stopped the start of an impeachment presented to congress today!

I say we need a revolution to clean the government from local , state and federal levels and hang the enemies of the constitution and all trump supporters.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 5 years 25 weeks ago

Can't argue with Randolphgarriso...... (Damn, hard to spell). Looked back twice to get it correct...... But that will mean another "uncivil war". Not that it won't happen and isn't in the cards , but; I would care to avoid such if at all possible. They keep a puntching the envelope though, don't they..... The "Fundamentalist" want Armagaddon however. Second thought.... It would confirm their beliefs. That somewhat explains why they vote against their own interests. They are brainwashed beyond repair. I keep going back to the adderss though; 666, really? What fools!

DFMM's picture
DFMM 5 years 25 weeks ago

Logan Act violation?

After reading the description of the Logan Act; didn't Tom Cotton and all the GOP who signed his letter to the Ayatollahs; violate the Act?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 25 weeks ago

Pence is also implicated in the treason....so to just replace Crooked Donny with him might be easier said than done.

Unrelated: 53% of white female voters voted for a known/self admitted sex criminal for president. They knew they were voting for a pussy grabber and accused child rapist. But somehow the Dems continue to think they'll get political points by making examples out of their own colleagues. I'm not defending sex criminals, but for christ sakes, get back to the fight at hand. Focus on sex scandals after the god damn tax break for billionaires fight.

I want to hear Dems like Gillibrand and Pelosi shouting to the media about the lies behind the tax bill....or at least demand Trump step down for his sex crimes. They can shout later about their co-workers personal problems.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 25 weeks ago

#5; 6 - For revolution a leader is an absolute necessity

None are on the horizon so far as can be seen

Very sadly!

Kilosqrd's picture
Kilosqrd 5 years 25 weeks ago



Trump doesn't have to release his taxes. If you suspect him of cheating on his taxes, well the IRS is set up to handle that. I guess you have zero faith with the IRS.


Legend 5 years 25 weeks ago

Almost all that have run for President since Nixon released their taxes. You were a fool to vote for him without a release. Not only do you have no idea of his finances he lied to you every day and you believed him.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 25 weeks ago

More worrying about OTHER peoples money. Oh hum!

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 25 weeks ago

@11 Legend:

If Trump had released his taxes, you would have voted for him.

Legend 5 years 25 weeks ago

He did not release them and Romney only released 2 years because they do not want you to see how little they pay in taxes. At that Romney was at 13%. The laws that the 1% writes has all ready lowered their taxes to next to nothing. Yes I worry about other peoples money when billionaires are paying less of a percentage than I am. You are a fool if you do not. Who do you think is writing this current tax cut? Hint: it is not the Senators and Congressmen.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 25 weeks ago

Rick Steves, answer OU812's question. I am curious.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 25 weeks ago

@ 14 Legend:

You haven't answered my first question, was it too hard for you?

Are we just suppose to take your word, that you are paying a larger percentage than billionaires. How about releasing your tax returns. Copy and paste them into this blog...

I know you won't object. You are always calling out others for not having sources. This is your chance to step up and show all that your statements are not just bluster.

Legend 5 years 25 weeks ago

Your first question was so stupid that I did not bother to answer. Before taxes I weighed the fact that he is a childish name caller (kind of like Diane). He is a narcistic consistent liar. He is a pervert with taped proof and 17 sexual harrassment accuasations. He has ties to the mafia. I could list more. Taxes to me would have added to the list. But maybe opened the eyes to some of you idiots.

You did not answer my question. Who wrote this tax cut policy?

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 25 weeks ago

@17 Legend:

I’ll take your none answer as a no, you would not have voted for President Trump, even if he had shown his taxes.....Where are your tax returns? You raised the issue that you pay a large percentage than billionaires....are you going to show the readers your tax returns or is that just more BS from you. When you show me your tax returns, I'll give you an answer too your question.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 25 weeks ago

17; 18

Are you just having an argument online?


Logan act is the subject... kindly note!

Kilosqrd's picture
Kilosqrd 5 years 25 weeks ago


"Almost all that have run for President since Nixon released their taxes." Legend

Totally irrelavent. However, it shows you have zero trust in the IRS to review/audit tax returns. Which is kinda surprising since liberals have such faith in government bureaucracies.


Legend 5 years 24 weeks ago

The problem is you were willing to accept a crook and known pervert. Having knowledge of who you were (are) voting for is important. You obviously do not care for that. You will call Hillary a liar and scream lock her up. But everything about her was out there in public view. Virtually everything about Trumps finances reeks of corruption. And you accept it without question.

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