It is illegal for private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments. That job is assigned to the president through the Constitution.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly undermined President Donald Trump in the Middle East.
The Trump administration hasn’t had any contact with the Palestinian Authority since announcing its plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But that didn’t stop Kerry from sending the Palestinians a message.
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. The intent behind the Act is to prevent unauthorized negotiations from undermining the government’s position. The Act was passed following George Logan’s unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799. The Act was last amended in 1994, changing the penalty for violation from “fined $5,000” to “fined under this title”; this appears to be the only amendment to the Act. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony.
Recently, John Kerry communicated with the Palestinians and he told them “Stay strong and do not give in to Trump.”
He also sent a message to Mahmoud Abbas through Hussein Agha, a close associate of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. That message was:
Kerry, who worked under former President Barack Obama, asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the United States or the Trump administration in general, but to center his criticism on the president alone.
He then told Agha that he is seriously thinking about running for president. Too bad nobody is seriously considering voting for him.