White House Response Overdue for Petition Calling for Logan Act Prosecution of Senators for Iran Letter
Despite exceeding the 100,000 signature minimum within the required thirty days, the Obama administration has yet to give an official response due a White House petition calling for prosecution under the Logan Act of the forty-seven senators, including author Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) who signed an open letter to the Iranian government regarding negotiations over that country’s nuclear program.
As reported by The Gateway Pundit on March 10, the petition initiated by C.H. of Bogota, New Jersey titled, “WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: “File charges against the 47 U.S. Senators in violation of The Logan Act in attempting to undermine a nuclear agreement,” was started on March 9 and within twenty-four hours exceeded the 100,000 signatures required to prompt a response from the Obama administration.
As of May 2 there were at least 320,755 signatures with a handful of signers added their support every day.
Searches of the White House petition response page using the respective words, Iran, letter and Logan returned no replies.
Under the FAQ section of the petition site, the Obama administration promises a response to each petition that reaches the threshold for response which is currently 100,000 signers within thirty days.
ABC News reported on March 12 that White House spokesman Josh Earnest referred a question to the Justice Department on whether the letter violated the Logan Act. ABC added the White House was still required to respond to the petition itself.
““For a determination like that, I’d refer you to the Department of Justice. It ultimately would be their responsibility to make that kind of determination,” Earnest said today in the White House briefing room. “I know that there’s been a lot of speculation about this, but I’m not aware of any conversations about the Logan Act in its relation to this specific matter that have taken place here at the White House.”
And while Earnest redirected the inquiry about the potential Logan Act violation for now, the White House will have to make an official response to the petition.”
Sen. Cotton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traded barbs this week over the nuclear negotiations.
Zarif struck first, jabbing Cotton twice in front of a friendly audience at New York University, as reported by Josh Rogin of Bloomberg.
“The U.S. would have to endorse this resolution “whether Senator Cotton likes it or not,” Zarif said, jabbing at Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton, who initiated an open letter to the Iranian leadership promising that Congress could unravel any deal Obama makes with them.
…““The American president is bound by international law, whether they like it or not. And international law requires the United States live up to any agreement this government enters into,” he said. “You know that, maybe Senator Cotton doesn’t.””
The War on Terror veteran Cotton responded with a series of tweets, inviting Zarif to debate and calling him a coward for attending school in the United States instead of fighting for Iran during the war with Iraq in the 1980s.
Not badge of courage @JZarif, to hide in US while your country fought war to survive-but shows cowardly character still on display today 4/4
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 29, 2015
Zarif punched back saying on Twitter, “Serious diplomacy, not macho personal smear, is what we need,” before adding a personal touch, “Congrats on Ur new born. May U and Ur family enjoy him in peace .”
(Take a moment to read Matthew Continetti’s takedown of Zarif’s offensive charm offensive at New York University.)