A friend recently asked me, “Does the December 2, 2019 appearance of Nancy Pelosi and ‘other Democratic lawmakers’ before the United Nations Climate Meeting and reassurances to them that the U.S. ‘Is still in’ constitute a violation of the Logan Act? (Source: Smith-Schoenwalder, C. (Dec 2, 2019). Pelosi, Democrats assure U.N. Climate Meeting that U.S. ‘Is Still In’. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved from: https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2019-12-02/pelosi-democrats-assure-united-nations-climate-meeting-that-us-is-still-in)
As you may know, the Logan Act was specifically designed to prevent both private citizens as well as unauthorized federal employees from purporting to represent the United States Federal Government on issues where they have no authority to do so.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the “Logan Act [is] legislation enacted by the United States Congress (1799) that forbids private citizens from engaging in unauthorized correspondence with foreign governments.
As amended, the act reads:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
The key phrase is “without authority of the United States,” which demands the Attorney General of the United States discern whether or not Pelosi acted within any legitimate bounds of authority of the United States when she proclaimed to both the United Nations and the entire world:
“By coming here we want to say to everyone, were still in.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid. “The United States is still in.”
Short answer: No, she does not, and is therefore subject to the Logan Act.
Long answer: Climate change falls square under the purview of the Office of Global Change, a division within the U.S. Department of State, whose mission thus follows:
The Office of Global Change is responsible for implementing and managing U.S. international policy on climate change, and representing the United States in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and in many other international fora focused on climate change, including the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization.
Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State reports directly to President Trump via the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
It is the Office of Global Change and any other personnel so appointed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who have the “authority of the United States” to attend and interact with others at the U.N. Climate Meeting. Nancy Pelosi’s position in the Legislative Branch does NOT extend across tricameral lines to the Executive Branch, and it is neither lawful nor ethical for Pelosi and her cohorts to “directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof.”
Clearly, Pelosi’s actions vehemently and grossly violate the Logan Act!
I dare say Pelosi has done so only because President Trump is currently under impeachment and she believes she can use anything he might say or do in response as further ammunition against him.
My recommendation to the President: Wait until the Senate clears you of any and all impeachment charges, then file the strongest full-on legal prosecution against both Pelosi and all who accompanied her for stepping WAY the HELL over the line. Even if you don’t escape impeachment unscathed, ensure Vice President Pence and Attorney General Barr are primed and ready to put a stop to Pelosi’s HIGHLY ILLEGAL not to mention Constitutionally unlawful power grab.
Both the Constitution as well as federal law clearly set forth the limits of and balance between power granted to each of the three branches of our government. Nancy’s grab absolutely cannot be ignored. It is such a heinous violation of Constitutional and federal law that it must be met with the full force of Thor’s, er, Barr’s hammer.
For all who agree, you may consider forwarding the link to this post to the White House for their consideration and possible action.