The Obama administration weaponized the Logan Act to attack the incoming Trump administration. By knowing its common practice for incoming administration officials to communicate their polices to their foreign counterparts, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates used the act to link the Trump administration to Russia via his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The Logan Act makes it a felony for unauthorized persons to negotiate with foreign governments involved in a dispute with the U.S. The Act came into being following George Logan’s unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799 and last amended in 1994.
Only two people have ever been indicted for violating its provisions. However, no one’s ever been convicted of violating the law.
It was Yates who told Congress that the Act was the reason she intervened in the Flynn case and the reason FBI agents went to the White House to interview Flynn in the Trump administration’s early days. Flynn recently pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators about conversations he had with former Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in December, 2016.
The conversations involved sanctions placed on Russia by the Obama administration following the November election and a U.N. resolution targeting Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Obama administration was monitoring Kislyak and recorded the calls, which were later illegally leaked to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, former-President Obama, now a private citizen, continues to violate the Logan Act by shadowing President Trump overseas. In fact, in a recent sit-down with French President Emmanuel Macron, Obama stated of Trump, “I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on [climate change.]”