House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t look to be catching a break any time soon. In addition to being slammed over Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and presiding over the embarrassing DHS funding debacle, a petition has now sprung up calling for Boehner to be prosecuted and removed from office for conspiring with a foreign leader to interfere in US foreign policy matters.
The petition, which can be found on MoveOn.org, correctly points out that by secretly inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress to undermine President Obama, Boehner is guilty of violating the Logan Act, which forbids unauthorized government officials from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign nations. Only the President of the United States has that power. And since Boehner deliberately failed to seek proper authorization from President Obama to invite Netanyahu to Congress, he broke a law that has been in effect since 1799.
The petition states:
By his inviting a foreign leader to address Congress, John Boehner deliberately dealt in foreign policy and thus violated the “Logan Act”, thus usurping the powers of the presidency of the United States.
In so doing, Boehner also deliberately violated the “separation of powers” clause in the US Constitution.
By law, he must now be tried by Congress, and forced to resign.
Under the “Logan Act” of 1799, (1 Stat. 613, 30 January 1799, currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953) Executive power to engage in Foreign Policy is ONLY vested in the President of the United States of America.
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 30 January 1799, currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953) specifically forbids any unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.
The Act is intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.
It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994.
Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.
Furthermore, the petition also notes that Boehner committed a crime by corresponding with Netanyahu without authorization with the intent of sabotaging an effort by the Obama Administration to strike a diplomatic deal with Iran to keep that nation from getting nuclear weapons.
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, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of 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.
1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).
Here’s the petition via MoveOn.org.
Republicans constantly claim that they love and admire the Founding Fathers but they apparently have no problem violating a law the founders established themselves over two centuries ago. By inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress without seeking authorization from the executive branch, Boehner blatantly broke that longstanding law.
This invitation violated US law and the separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution. It’s also an act of sabotage because Netanyahu spoke in an attempt to derail diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran. Boehner knew the exact purpose of Netanyahu’s speech in which the Israeli leader urged the Republican-dominated Congress to do everything in its power to derail any deal that could be reached. Therefore, John Boehner should be prosecuted and impeached. At the very least, he should be forced to resign in disgrace.
To sign the petition, simply click here.
Image via Bizpac Review