Every recent U.S. President elect has known ( or been forcefully told by handlers) that the U.S. has only one President at a time.
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama each forcefully said these exact words while being badgered by the media to comment on the foreign policy of the president they were soon to replace.
Clearly, U.S. allies and enemies alike need to know with whom they are dealing during presidential transition periods.
While public criticism and free expression are rights guaranteed every private citizen under the first amendment, intervening and negotiating on behalf of foreign countries is illegal. It is covered by the Logan Act of 1799, a law passed to assure that no U.S citizen actively undermines or confounds U.S. foreign policy.
By any measure, Trump has done just that.In past months, he has directly intervened on behalf of Israel (and arguably Russia) in direct opposition to the foreign policy of the United States.
In the recent U.N. vote against Israeli settlements, Trump, at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and convinced him to postpone the scheduled vote in order that the new administration could deal with the U.N. initiative. Trump also demanded the U.S. veto the resolution and, when it was clear this wouldn’t happen, he continued to negotiate to “bury” the resolution indefinitely.
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799 ) is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government’s position.Contravention of the Logan Act is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
The Logan Act has seldom been used ( only once), because President’s elect have, in the past,been circumspect and knowledgeable enough to recognize the importance of the law’s purpose.
This President elect wouldn’t know a Logan Act from a Loganberry.
I know it won’t happen, but a group chanting of “lock him up” is a delicious temptation.It’s also warranted , given Trump’s blatant disregard for transition protocol and the Logan Act, a law of the land for over two centuries.