A downward spiral for Democrats?
It has been a tough several weeks for the Democrats, as several of the parties' members have allegedly engaged in conduct that some would construe as...less than stellar. More particularly, John Kerry allegedly violated the Logan Act, New York Democratic attorney general Eric Schneiderman allegedly engaged in improper sexual conduct, and Robert Mueller and his team allegedly engaged in an impermissible witch hunt. Maybe things might be better if some of these players simply played by the rules.
Several days ago, we learned that John Kerry secretly engaged in "shadow diplomacy" to save the Iran nuclear deal that was brokered by former President Obama. What Mr. Kerry "forgot," however, is that there are laws prohibiting such conduct. Mr. Kerry is no longer a member of the Obama administration. Rather, he is a private citizen and is not permitted to negotiate on behalf of the United States pursuant to the Logan Act.
The Logan Act says:
Any citizen of the United States 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.
"Assuming Mr. Kerry is not authorized to embolden the Iranians and Europeans with false hope, pushing the string our president is trying to pull, then he is in express violation of the act. Unlike the Flynn case, there is little ambiguity here. The violation is textbook."
Despite this, Mr. Kerry allegedly met with the Iranian foreign minister and the German and French presidents and spoke with the European Union foreign affairs chief. These meetings were all part of Mr. Kerry's secretive efforts to save the nuclear deal.
Bad move, Mr. Kerry!
Things were not much brighter for the Democrats on the legal front. Several days ago, New York's Democratic attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, resigned amid accusations by four women that he engaged in physical violence against them.
By way of reminder, Mr. Schneiderman was an advocate of the #MeToo movement, an alleged "champion" of woman, and one "who pledged to use his office to hold others accountable for abusing their power."
Due to these horrific allegations, a criminal probe has now been opened. It is tragically ironic that the person who purportedly fought for the rights of women is now being investigated for violating some of those very rights he fought to protect.
It appears that Mr. Schneiderman will be busy defending himself for the foreseeable future!
Things were not much brighter for the Democrats in the courts. Recently, a Virginia federal judge (T.S. Ellis III), presiding over the Manafort case, scolded special counsel Robert Mueller and his team. More particularly, the judge questioned Mueller's true motivation behind the fraud investigation against Mr. Manafort and suggested that it was "aimed at getting him to provide evidence against the president." More particularly, Judge Ellis said:
You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," said Ellis, who is known for being combative with attorneys in his courtroom. "You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.
Ellis said the special counsel, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, wanted Manafort, "The vernacular is, to sing." The judge also put it another way, saying the office set out to "turn the screws and get the information you really want."
While the judge's comments do not necessarily reflect how the Manafort case will turn out, they serve as a sharp reminder that Mr. Mueller does not have unfettered discretion and that he cannot engage in a witch hunt against President Trump or anyone else. While some Democrats salivate over the idea of impeaching President Trump, the judge's comments delivered a stark reminder to Mr. Mueller, his team, and all interested parties that the so-called "investigation" will not be used as a "fishing expedition" to achieve that goal.
While Democrats are predicting a "blue wave" in November, some in their party are hurting their efforts by creating "splashes" of their own. Regardless of whether it is an alleged Logan Act violation, allegations of physical violence, or a politicized witch hunt aimed directly at the president, the Democratic Party has had a stretch of bad luck recently while the Republican Party is going full steam ahead!
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and a political commentator and writer. His articles have been published in several online magazines and newspapers including the American Thinker, L.A. Times, Sun-Sentinel, Florida Jewish Journal, and Palm Beach Post.