Tom Cotton’s Letter Is Exactly Right

 

Tom CottonTime for a primer on international agreements, thanks to the controversy over Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran. Joined by almost all of the Senate’s Republicans, Cotton’s missive warned Tehran that any nuclear deal with President Obama would not last unless it went to Congress for approval:

…We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.  The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

As a description of American constitutional law, Senator Cotton has it exactly right. It’s as if he’s just informing Iran about the text of the Constitution. There are three types of international agreements under U.S. law:

Treaties: these require two-thirds of the Senate for approval. The U.S. has generally used treaties for the most serious commitments of American sovereignty, such as alliances and arms control.

Congressional-Executive Agreements: these require approval by the House and the Senate. Although unmentioned in the Constitution, they are nothing more than regular laws passed by Congress. These have been used for deals such as trade agreements.

Sole Executive Agreements: these are made by the president alone. They are constitutional only because they represent promises by the president on how to exercise his constitutional power.

The Cotton letter is right. If President Obama strikes a nuclear deal with Iran using just instrument (c), he is only committing to refrain from exercising his executive power — i.e., not attacking Iran or lifting sanctions under power delegated by Congress.  Not only could the next president terminate the agreement; Obama himself could terminate the deal.

In fact, the Cotton letter could have gone farther and pointed out that Obama may be making promises that he cannot keep. Since a sole executive agreement is only a commitment for the use of the executive’s authority, it cannot make promises about Congress. Under the Constitution’s Foreign Commerce Clause, Only Congress has the authority to impose international economic sanctions. Obama’s executive agreement cannot prevent Congress from imposing mandatory, severe sanctions on Iran without the possibility of presidential waiver (my preferred solution for handling the Iranian nuclear crisis right now). Obama can agree to allow Iran to keep a nuclear processing capability; Congress can cut Iran out of the world trading and financial system.

Doubts can be raised about the diplomatic wisdom of the letter. The United States has long sought, ideally, to treat the President as “the sole organ” of its foreign policy, though in reality Congress has dominated foreign policy for periods of American history. Centralization of diplomacy in the presidency has been thought to prevent foreign nations from manipulating our branches against each other, though students of bargaining — or anyone who has to haggle over the price of a car with a salesman and his mysterious manager — will understand that having to overcome a subsequent Senate veto could result in a better deal for the U.S.

As a matter of constitutional law, however, the Cotton letter should be no more controversial than a letter that simply enclosed a copy of the U.S. Constitution (without President Obama’s editing).

For those who want a fuller treatment, John Bolton and I went through the implications of this approach to the Iranian deal in the Dec. 31, 2014 issue of National Review:

For those who want to delve more deeply into the constitutional history and game theory of these international agreements, I’ve written the most recent (and I think one of the better) scholarly law articles on the subject (free download).

 

 

 

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  1. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    Doubts can be raised about the wisdom of the letter,  but the letter is only necessary because of the incredible lack of wisdom being displayed by Obama and his desire to get a ‘deal’ with Iran even if it means a toothless executive action and further damaging his ability to work with the Congress.

    The letter is only necessary at all because Obama is behaving like a buffoon.  Sometimes buffoonery puts people in a position where there are no great options.  This looks like one of them.

    • #1
  2. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    A frightening thought … never mind the appearances they put on for the press … are we looking at good cop bad cop here?

    • #2
  3. Max Knots Member
    Max Knots
    @MaxKnots

    The Iranian “rebuttal” of Senator Cotton’s letter confirms the need for his letter. They have decided that the Constitution doesn’t matter since President Obama flaunts it with impunity. Their attitude and his on this subject are congruent. Agree – no good options…

    • #3
  4. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I don’t have a real objection to the letter, but there is something ridiculous about Cotton’s attempt to “educate” the Iranians about the American system:

    Some of Iran’s top leaders have been in power for decades. During that time, they have survived American attempts to oust them, gone head-to-head with American diplomatic efforts (and often outfoxed them), and a few probably helped dupe the Reagan administration into selling them arms.

    Point being: I think the Iranian leadership understands how our system works. Sometimes better than we do.

    • #4
  5. x Inactive
    x
    @CatoRand

    KC Mulville:A frightening thought … never mind the appearances they put on for the press … are we looking at good cop bad cop here?

    I think that’s the upshot, though I doubt it’s a concerted effort.  It looks to me like it’s just how things worked out.

    • #5
  6. x Inactive
    x
    @CatoRand

    John, am I mistaken in thinking that sanctions imposed under the power granted in the foreign commerce clause are just statutory, subject to a presidential veto?  I sort of read your post as implying that Congress has the power to impose them without input from the executive.  That doesn’t sound right to me.

    • #6
  7. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Tom Cotton is definitely FPM (Future Presidential Material).

    • #7
  8. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Mendel: and a few probably helped dupe the Reagan administration into selling them arms.

    Blasphemer! How dare you take Reagan’s name in vain!

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    EThompson:Tom Cotton is definitely FPM (Future Presidential Material).

    I agree!  :)

    • #9
  10. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Cato, as I remember it the current sanctions were passed by a veto-proof majority so new sanctions could be imposed similarly “by congress alone”.

    Also, Mendel, I see the real value of this move as possibly motivating those voters who sat out the election in 2012 to get out and vote (Republican.)

    Glad to see some real leadership on  our side  for a change.

    • #10
  11. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Dan Hanson:Doubts can be raised about the wisdom of the letter, but the letter is only necessary because of the incredible lack of wisdom being displayed by Obama and his desire to get a ‘deal’ with Iran even if it means a toothless executive action and further damaging his ability to work with the Congress.

    The letter is only necessary at all because Obama is behaving like a buffoon. Sometimes buffoonery puts people in a position where there are no great options. This looks like one of them.

    Do you have anything to back any of this up, or is this the usual “say something bad in grand terms about a policy, but don’t bother to explain why” sort of a deal?

    Doubts can be raised about the letter not only because it may be, pointless in face value, or counterproductive. But also because these Senators don’t seem to comprehend what the “deal” is.

    Iran has a nuclear energy program. There’s inspectors that are monitoring it, and according to everyone involved, there’s no nuclear weapons capability being developed. The “deal” is to impose greater levels of monitoring and inspection.

    In the absence of such a deal, we lose even more insight into Iran’s nuclear program. Which will guarantee they will get the bomb some day. How exactly is this in the benefit of the US?

    Who knows. It’s certainly in the benefit of Tom Cotton, cause he’s got his 15 minutes of fame now. And to the benefit of those who are itching for another war, soon. Some people, I guess, just want to watch the world burn.

    • #11
  12. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    John Yoo:

    If President Obama strikes a nuclear deal with Iran using just instrument (c), he is only committing to refrain from exercising his executive power — i.e., not attacking Iran or lifting sanctions under power delegated by Congress. Not only could the next president terminate the agreement; Obama himself could terminate the deal.

    This seems to be the approach the Sec of State is taking

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that U.S. lawmakers won’t be able to change the terms of any nuclear agreement with Iran because it won’t be legally binding, a statement likely to inspire greater congressional opposition.

    What a strange response, Congress can’t change us letting Iran develop a nuclear bomb because the agreement isn’t legally binding, but trust us that Iran will fulfill their obligations under this non-binding agreement.

    • #12
  13. user_84826 Thatcher
    user_84826
    @MichaelLukehart

    Let us never forget that Obama revoked several executive deals when he became president.  Just ask the Poles.

    • #13
  14. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Michael Lukehart:Let us never forget that Obama revoked several executive deals when he became president. Just ask the Poles.

    One of the most shameful moments in 21st century American diplomacy equaled only by the boycott of an Israeli PM by a U.S. president.

    • #14
  15. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    Michael Lukehart:Let us never forget that Obama revoked several executive deals when he became president. Just ask the Poles.

    And the Ukranians

    • #15
  16. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    John Yoo:Doubts can be raised about the diplomatic wisdom of the letter.

    Gee, ya think?  Way to bury what should be your lead.

    TOM COTTON IS THE DIXIE CHICK OF THE US SENATE.

    I’m yelling because I hope he hears me. This letter is akin to criticizing the president while on foreign soil.

    We can’t have 100 Secretaries of State nor 100 Presidents.

    Who cares if his letter is legally correct?  From a negotiating standpoint it’s so counter-productive I’ll call it stupid, for what it is.

    Has anyone who supports this letter, Tom Cotton included, had to negotiate in their whole lives?  Have they ever walked into a room filled with other sharp negotiators and walked out having convinced those people to do something they didn’t want to do?

    What Tom Cotton’s letter makes clear is that President Obama was actually giving away in this negotiation the sleeves off his vest  – absolutely nothing.  He wasn’t going to ask the Senate to tie us to a formal treaty.   That deserves an “atta boy” from the Senator, not a letter to our adversary telling Iran “Don’t fall for it, it’s a trick!”   Good grief.   It’s damn near treason.

    You worked for George Bush, John Yoo.  Imagine if a Democrat senator called Putin during arms negotiations and said, “Listen Vlad, George is being a little crafty here.  Make sure you pin him down on x, y and z  so you don’t lose the benefit of your bargain later on.”  Would your Ricochet column really be about the legality of that call?

    The Senate’s role here is to vote on a treaty after it is brought to them.  It is not to be in the negotiating room, and certainly not to undermine the position of the President during the negotiation.  Goodness.

    Yes I know President Obama has done some bad things and has seemed to skirt the Constitution.  I don’t like him.   Guess what I do like – Ricochet.  I never wanted this place to be one of those websites that piles on the President blindly no matter what.

    I have a message for Tom Cotton –  Barack Hussein Obama is your President, and when it comes to dealing with the Iranians, you’d sure as hell better stand by his side.

    • #16
  17. user_645 Editor
    user_645
    @Claire

    Mendel:Point being: I think the Iranian leadership understands how our system works. Sometimes better than we do.

    I’d be astonished if they didn’t know and study the US and its constitution–especially because we make little mystery of it–but suspect they probably do, truly, believe that at the heart of US power is a conspiracy involving Jews and the CIA. So I have no idea what they might make of that letter.

    • #17
  18. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    John,

    I will repeat my questions from another post:

    When in all of American History has a U.S. Senator been indicted for treason for a breech of protocol?

    When in all of American History has a President of the United States preempted the United States Senate and given a foreign government the assurance that it is signing a conclusive binding treaty with the United States Government without the advise and consent of the Senate?

    Article II, Section 2

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
  19. gts109 Member
    gts109
    @gts109

    Cato, the foreign commerce clause is part of Article I, Section 8, which enumerates Congress’ powers. So, any Congressional action taken under that clause is subject to presidential veto, like any legislation, but vetoes can be overcome, as noted.

    I don’t get the uproar over the “letter.” He could have written the “letter” as an op-ed or in a Tweet mentioning @ayatollah or a Ricochet piece, and nobody would have cared. And, if this is information that Iran already has, as others have said here, then who cares? Plus, if Iran doesn’t care what Cotton thinks, because it believes that future administrations will be bound by any potential agreement with Obama, no matter how vigorously Cotton, et al. protest, then why would Iran even dignify Cotton with a response?

    On the other side of the ledger, I have no idea what the letter accomplishes. I mean, it’s correct, but Iran and Obama are going to proceed regardless. The only thing that will change Iran’s behavior is a military strike from Israel, or a much tougher president being elected in 2016.

    • #19
  20. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Tommy De Seno:

    John Yoo:Doubts can be raised about the diplomatic wisdom of the letter.

    Gee, ya think? Way to bury what should be your lead.

    TOM COTTON IS THE DIXIE CHICK OF THE US SENATE.

    I’m yelling because I hope he hears me. This letter is akin to criticizing the president while on foreign soil.

    We can’t have 100 Secretaries of State nor 100 Presidents.

    Who cares if his letter is legally correct? From a negotiating standpoint it’s so counter-productive I’ll call it stupid, for what it is.

    Has anyone who supports this letter, Tom Cotton included, had to negotiate in their whole lives? Have they ever had to walk into a room filled with other sharp negotiators and walked out having convinced those people to do something they didn’t want to do?

    What Tom Cotton’s letter makes clear is that President Obama was actually giving away in this negotiation the sleeves off his vest – absolutely nothing. He wasn’t going to ask the Senate to tie us to a formal treaty. That deserves an “atta boy” from the Senator, not a letter to our adversary telling Iran “Don’t fall for it, it’s a trick!” Good grief. It’s damn near treason.

    You worked for George Bush, John Yoo. Imagine if a Democrat senator called Putin during arms negotiations and said, “Listen Vlad, George is being a little crafty here. Make sure you pin him down on x, y and z so you don’t lose the benefit of your bargain later on.” Would your Ricochet column really be about the legality of that call?

    The Senate’s role here is to vote on a treaty after it is brought to them. It is not to be in the negotiating room, and certainly not to undermine the position of the President during the negotiation. Goodness.

    Yes I know President Obama has done some bad things and has seemed to skirt the Constitution. I don’t like him. Guess what I do like – Ricochet. I never wanted this place to be one of those websites that piles on the President blindly no matter what.

    I have a message for Tom Cotton – Barack Hussein Obama is your President, and when it comes to dealing with the Iranians, you’d sure as hell better stand by his side.

    Couldn’t agree more!

    But petty politics will be petty politics.

    I don’t like him. Guess what I do like – Ricochet. I never wanted this place to be one of those websites that piles on the President blindly no matter what.

    Amen!

    • #20
  21. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Claire Berlinski:

    Mendel:Point being: I think the Iranian leadership understands how our system works. Sometimes better than we do.

    I’d be astonished if they didn’t know and study the US and its constitution–especially because we make little mystery of it–but suspect they probably do, truly, believe that at the heart of US power is a conspiracy involving Jews and the CIA. So I have no idea what they might make of that letter.

    Claire,

    I don’t think Josh Earnest’s absurd red herring is really about what the Iranians make of anything. It is strictly for domestic political consumption. The never ending meme of a “neocon” conspiracy led by its unbelievably artful svengali nemesis is nauseating but effective. Banal disaffected college age sophomores and those who would emulate them just love this garbage.

    Dr. Evil from his lair in a hollowed out volcano is pulling the strings of 47 Senators of the United States. Six years of a ludicrously failed foreign policy has not made any difference and Josh’s red herring special narrative-ops unit knows just how to tweek this fantasy of the intellectually challenged.

    220px-Paul_Wolfowitz (1)

    Exhibit A. Dr. Evil himself. The master neocon, subtext the head Jew who’s running it all. Not since the Protocols of the Elders of Zion has there been such a ludicrous piece of anti-Semitic nonsense.

    The lefty profs who are sucking National Endowment for the Humanities cash like a leech sucks blood and using it to spread this nonsense ought to ##**C.O.C.@@#. They are the same cringing parasites that keep Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #21
  22. x Inactive
    x
    @CatoRand

    Tommy De Seno:

    John Yoo:Doubts can be raised about the diplomatic wisdom of the letter.

    Gee, ya think? Way to bury what should be your lead.

    TOM COTTON IS THE DIXIE CHICK OF THE US SENATE.

    I’m yelling because I hope he hears me. This letter is akin to criticizing the president while on foreign soil.

    We can’t have 100 Secretaries of State nor 100 Presidents.

    Who cares if his letter is legally correct? From a negotiating standpoint it’s so counter-productive I’ll call it stupid, for what it is.

    Has anyone who supports this letter, Tom Cotton included, had to negotiate in their whole lives? Have they ever had to walk into a room filled with other sharp negotiators and walked out having convinced those people to do something they didn’t want to do?

    What Tom Cotton’s letter makes clear is that President Obama was actually giving away in this negotiation the sleeves off his vest – absolutely nothing. He wasn’t going to ask the Senate to tie us to a formal treaty. That deserves an “atta boy” from the Senator, not a letter to our adversary telling Iran “Don’t fall for it, it’s a trick!” Good grief. It’s damn near treason.

    You worked for George Bush, John Yoo. Imagine if a Democrat senator called Putin during arms negotiations and said, “Listen Vlad, George is being a little crafty here. Make sure you pin him down on x, y and z so you don’t lose the benefit of your bargain later on.” Would your Ricochet column really be about the legality of that call?

    The Senate’s role here is to vote on a treaty after it is brought to them. It is not to be in the negotiating room, and certainly not to undermine the position of the President during the negotiation. Goodness.

    Yes I know President Obama has done some bad things and has seemed to skirt the Constitution. I don’t like him. Guess what I do like – Ricochet. I never wanted this place to be one of those websites that piles on the President blindly no matter what.

    I have a message for Tom Cotton – Barack Hussein Obama is your President, and when it comes to dealing with the Iranians, you’d sure as hell better stand by his side.

    I think your unspoken premise is that the Iranians were confused about what they were getting.  My strong suspicion is that that is false.  The mullahs may act like they’re insane half the time, but I’m actually pretty sure there’s enough intellectual firepower in Tehran to figure out how our constitutional system is structured, and I doubt they were under a misapprehension about it.  I have negotiated for a living for 20+ years, and one of the things I’ve learned not to do is expect that I’m going to be able to pull the wool over the eyes of a sophisticated and motivated opposition.

    • #22
  23. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    @ Jim G: You are my new hero on this site; in one single comment you have posted a photo of  Paul Wolfowitz and lauded Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    • #23
  24. x Inactive
    x
    @CatoRand

    gts109:Cato, the foreign commerce clause is part of Article I, Section 8, which enumerates Congress’ powers. So, any Congressional action taken under that clause is subject to presidential veto, like any legislation, but vetoes can be overcome, as noted.

    I don’t get the uproar over the “letter.” He could have written the “letter” as an op-ed or in a Tweet mentioning @ayatollah or a Ricochet piece, and nobody would have cared. And, if this is information that Iran already has, as others have said here, then who cares? Plus, if Iran doesn’t care what Cotton thinks, because it believes that future administrations will be bound by any potential agreement with Obama, no matter how vigorously Cotton, et al. protest, then why would Iran even dignify Cotton with a response?

    On the other side of the ledger, I have no idea what the letter accomplishes. I mean, it’s correct, but Iran and Obama are going to proceed regardless. The only thing that will change Iran’s behavior is a military strike from Israel, or a much tougher president being elected in 2016.

    I think you’re exactly right.  This issue is obvious to anyone with a copy of our Constitution.  It’s been a subject of discussion in the US press.  The idea that the letter somehow “tipped them off” seems kind of naive to me.  If they were that foolish, they wouldn’t be giving us so many headaches.

    • #24
  25. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Cato Rand:

    Tommy De Seno:

    John Yoo:Doubts can be raised about the diplomatic wisdom of the letter.

    Gee, ya think? Way to bury what should be your lead.

    TOM COTTON IS THE DIXIE CHICK OF THE US SENATE.

    I’m yelling because I hope he hears me. This letter is akin to criticizing the president while on foreign soil.

    We can’t have 100 Secretaries of State nor 100 Presidents.

    Who cares if his letter is legally correct? From a negotiating standpoint it’s so counter-productive I’ll call it stupid, for what it is.

    Has anyone who supports this letter, Tom Cotton included, had to negotiate in their whole lives? Have they ever had to walk into a room filled with other sharp negotiators and walked out having convinced those people to do something they didn’t want to do?

    What Tom Cotton’s letter makes clear is that President Obama was actually giving away in this negotiation the sleeves off his vest – absolutely nothing. He wasn’t going to ask the Senate to tie us to a formal treaty. That deserves an “atta boy” from the Senator, not a letter to our adversary telling Iran “Don’t fall for it, it’s a trick!” Good grief. It’s damn near treason.

    You worked for George Bush, John Yoo. Imagine if a Democrat senator called Putin during arms negotiations and said, “Listen Vlad, George is being a little crafty here. Make sure you pin him down on x, y and z so you don’t lose the benefit of your bargain later on.” Would your Ricochet column really be about the legality of that call?

    The Senate’s role here is to vote on a treaty after it is brought to them. It is not to be in the negotiating room, and certainly not to undermine the position of the President during the negotiation. Goodness.

    Yes I know President Obama has done some bad things and has seemed to skirt the Constitution. I don’t like him. Guess what I do like – Ricochet. I never wanted this place to be one of those websites that piles on the President blindly no matter what.

    I have a message for Tom Cotton – Barack Hussein Obama is your President, and when it comes to dealing with the Iranians, you’d sure as hell better stand by his side.

    I think your unspoken premise is that the Iranians were confused about what they were getting.

    The reason for it being unspoken is because that’s not my premise.

    I focus on Cotton’s intent.  As stated in his letter, he thought he was setting them straight in that regard.  I don’t care if they already knew it.

    Consider also, what if we did have the advantage of them not fully considering the flimsy nature of the executive agreement?   In fact, if you look at the Iranian response, we may have had that advantage.  They disagree with Cotton and think if the next President (or this one) changes the agreement unilaterally it will be a violation of International law.

    Cotton interfered with the negotiation.   He should be indicted under the Logan Act.

    • #25
  26. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    Tommy De Seno:

    Cotton interfered with the negotiation. He should be indicted under the Logan Act.

    OK – right after we impeach Obama for his role in these negotiations.

    Any way, apparently the state department has already answered your question

    Nothing in section 953 [Logan Act], however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution

    • #26
  27. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Asquared:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Cotton interfered with the negotiation. He should be indicted under the Logan Act.

    OK – right after we impeach Obama for his role in these negotiations.

    Really?  You’re serious?  You actually believe a President negotiating with another country over nuclear issues is grounds for impeachment?  Or did you miss my line about Ricochet not turning into one of “those” websites?

    Any way, apparently the state department has already answered your question

    Nothing in section 953 [Logan Act], however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution

    Reagan thought Jim Wright violated the Logan Act when he interfered with his negotiations in Nicaragua.

    I’m comfortable with aligning myself with Reagan rather than whomever issued the above from the state department.

    • #27
  28. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Tommy De Seno:

    John Yoo:Doubts can be raised about the diplomatic wisdom of the letter.

    Gee, ya think? Way to bury what should be your lead.

    TOM COTTON IS THE DIXIE CHICK OF THE US SENATE.

    I have a message for Tom Cotton – Barack Hussein Obama is your President, and when it comes to dealing with the Iranians, you’d sure as hell better stand by his side.

    Tommy–You’re wrong. Obama is negotiating with an enemy of this country against the wishes and opinions of the majority of Americans. He is also defying the majority of Congress and flaunting separation of powers. In all regards, he is acting against the United States. Further, he effectively helping an enemy arm, repel and attack the US and other friendly nations–the effects of which can not be reversed–i.e. the genie can’t be put back in the bottle.

    • #28
  29. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Tommy De Seno:

    Or did you miss my line about Ricochet not turning into one of “those” websites?

    We may be too late for that. The entire “conservative” universe is acting like “those websites” these days.

    I’ve said this for months now on Ricochet. It’s the “newsmax-imization” of America (or is it the “Drudge-ification”?)

    But I’m not sure it’s a new phenomenon either. Back in 1999 when the war in Kosovo was happening, Republicans acted in an equally shameful and disgraceful manner. The lowest point in Republican history. Maybe, Tom Cotton and company will seek to outdo that.

    Of course, the Left did the same to Bush too. All political extremists seem to do this at this stage of a President’s second term.

    But, at least, we should admit to ourselves that these are the antics of political extremists.

    • #29
  30. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Asqured,

    I hadn’t realized that the quote you gave wasn’t from the state department about this issue (your link doesn’t go to the quote it goes to a Wiki page about the Logan Act).

    That quote is from a 2006 report and is pretty generic, not defining what “legislative duty” would be.

    I’m even more convinced Cotton committed a felony.   It’s not part of his legislative duty to undermine ongoing negotiations by giving advice and tips to our adversary.

    I’d like to smack Cotton. He deserved respect as a vet, but as a vet he of all people should know not to help the enemy in a negotiation with the President.  We don’t owe him that.

    • #30

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