Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Couple of Suggestions for Trump at and after Helsinki


I've already suggested that Trump and Putin pick up where Reagan and Gorbachev left off.

But I think yesterday's stunt by Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, obviously aimed at discrediting/derailing the summit, is actually an opportunity for Trump to combine good foreign relations with domestic housekeeping.

First, Trump should pardon the indicted Russians, who will never be extradited anyway, as a gesture of international goodwill.

Second, Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Mueller and Rosenstein for possible violations of the Logan Act:

"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."

Indicting those Russians certainly amounted to "intercourse" with officers or agents of a foreign government to the extent that they were informed of the charges, directly or indirectly. And the clear aim was 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," in part by handicapping the chief executive's exercise of his foreign policy brief.

Yes, it's true that in the 220 years since the Logan Act was passed, no one has ever actually gone down for violating it. But perhaps brandishing the weapon would make Mueller and Rosenstein a little less inclined to continue with the amateur frat-boy stuff.

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