John Kerry’s meeting with the Palestinian official including talks about foreign policy and many see this as a violation of the Logan Act.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry recently met in London with Hussein Agha, a close associate of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and told him to RESIST President Donald Trump.
“[Abbas] should stay strong in his spirit and play for time — that he should not break down and not capitulate to Trump’s demands,” Kerry told an Abbas confidant, according to Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv.
Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Ma’ariv that the meeting took place.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.”
Kerry offered his help to the Palestinians in an effort to advance the peace process and recommended that Abbas present his own peace plan. “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” Kerry suggested.
He promised to use all his contacts and all his abilities to get support for such a plan.
He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.
According to the report, when referring to the president, Kerry used highly derogatory terms. Kerry offered to help create an alternative peace initiative and promised to help garner international support from Europeans, Arab states and the international community.
Kerry hinted that many in the American establishment, as well as in American intelligence, are dissatisfied with Trump’s performance and the way he leads their country.
He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.
The Logan Act criminalizes outreach to other nations ‘with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof’ in relation to ‘disputes or controversies with the United States.’
But no one has ever been convicted of violating that law, and some legal scholars consider it overly broad to the point of being unconstitutional.
If Kerry convinces Abbas that his approach would be more productive, Trump’s best laid plans could die in the Middle Eastern heat.
Agha reported details of his conversations to Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah.
Trump’s tensions with Palestinians were exacerbated this week with the announcement that the U.S. is withholding $65 million in aid money earmarked by a United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.