No one has ever been convicted under the law in the 218 years it’s been on the books.
By Jeremy Duda | For The Washington Post
When news broke this month that Michael Flynn, President Trump’s now-former national security adviser, had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador before Trump was sworn in, the Logan Act was the federal statute of the moment.
The New York Times wrote that Flynn’s resignation had “elevated interest” in the “dusty” law. NPR noted that the law had “gotten a lot of attention recently and is at the center of the scandal surrounding Flynn.” Time magazine reported that the “obscure law was suddenly on the minds of Washington observers.”
(Editor’s note: Jeremy Duda is a journalist who covers state government and politics for Arizona Capitol Times and the author of “If This Be Treason: The American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”)
Related: ‘Capitol Times’ reporter authors book about treason/Rose Law Group Reporter
Whatever Flynn’s other transgressions may be — the White House says he lied to Vice President Pence about his conversations last year with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and the FBI could investigate whether he told federal agents the truth in interviews — he almost certainly doesn’t have to worry about the Logan Act. In the 218 years since its passage, not a single person has been convicted of violating the law. Only once has someone even been charged with the crime.