First, the petitioners note that the Logan Act of 1799 explicitly prohibits unauthorized citizens from engaging in diplomatic negotiations with foreign governments. Next, they suggest without evidence that the GOP’s letter did just that. And, finally, they conclude that its sponsors are guilty of a felony. Is it time for Cotton to wear orange?
Unsurprisingly, the answer to this is “No.” Indeed, one almost has to feel embarrassed by the scale of the petitioners’ credulity. For a start, the Logan Act almost certainly does not apply to open letters that are penned by representatives from the Senate — which body, we might remember, enjoys a constitutionally enumerated role within the nation’s foreign policy.