Last Updated on January 17, 2021
President-Elect Joe Biden’s team is reported to have opened up back-channel communications with the Iranian regime regarding the return of the United States to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, better known as the Iranian Nuclear Deal, in a process that may constitute a violation of The Logan Act.
Reporting that the incoming Biden administration is expected to take a more “conciliatory approach” to the Iranians, Israeli news outlet Channel 12, reported that members of Biden’s team “have already begun holding quiet talks with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.”
The report also said that Biden’s people have updated Israel on those conversations.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Washington and standing beside US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, made it clear there is great concern about Biden’s plans.
Iran can hardly wait! https://t.co/nnPYrza3MY
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 15, 2021
“If we just go back to the JCPOA, what will happen and may already be happening is that many other countries in the Middle East will rush to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. That is a nightmare and that is folly. It should not happen,” Netanyahu said.
Mr. Biden doesn’t officially take office until January 20, 2021 at noon. Until then, he and his team, no matter how excited they may be to unravel President Trump’s advancements on the world stage, are private citizens.
The private citizens of the Biden team – and Biden himself by engaging in communications about foreign policy with sovereign foreign leaders – appear to be in clear violation of the 1799 Logan Act.
This is ironic, as Biden, then serving as Vice President, according to the declassified note of John Brennan, suggested using the Logan Act against Gen. Michael Flynn for his innocuous conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Obama/Trump transition in 2016.
.@brhodes: Biden is already “having phone calls” with foreign leaders about “the agenda they’re going to pursue January 20th” pic.twitter.com/ynHspaEDxE
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 9, 2020
In 2017, University of Chicago law professors Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner argued that the Logan Act, in fact, did apply to Flynn’s contact with Kislyak even though no policy matters were concerned, writing in a New York Times op-ed,
“A president-elect and his team may certainly introduce themselves to foreign leaders and conduct discussions with them about foreign policy. But there is a wide gap between those activities and trying to persuade a foreign power to thwart the sitting president’s foreign operations and initiatives. The former is not prohibited by the Logan Act; the latter is flatly banned.”
By the standards used by the Biden-friendly Left in 2017, Mr. Biden’s team seems to be guilty of violating the Logan Act and doing so in a submissive manner to the Iranian regime.
Over the weekend, France’s Foreign Minister, Jean Yves Le Drian, issued a stark warning that Iran aimed to acquire nuclear weapons, saying, “I say this clearly – [Iran] is in the process of acquiring nuclear [weapons] capacity.”