Politics

Why Some Think 47 GOP Senators Broke the Law With Iran Letter

In this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, then-Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, R-Ark.  waves at his election watch party in North Little Rock, Ark., after defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. Forty-seven Republican senators warned Monday that any agreement the Obama administration strikes with Iran to limit Tehran's nuclear program may be short-lived unless Congress approves the deal. In an open letter to Iranian leaders, Cotton and 46 other Republicans said that without congressional approval, any deal between Iran and the U.S. would be merely an agreement between President Barack Obama and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
In this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, then-Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, R-Ark. waves at his election watch party in North Little Rock, Ark., after defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

 

(ABC News) – Some law professors and liberal commentators say they believe the “open letter” Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 of his Republican colleagues sent this week to the leaders of Iran, warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Obama won’t last after Obama leaves office, might be a crime.

That letter from the Arkansas Republican to the ayatollahs and other Iranian officials, critics say, is a violation of the 1799 Logan Act, which says starkly:

“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.”

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