I really cannot imagine any fair-minded and impartial moral or political philosopher desiring to serve the American national interest ever justifying keeping this damnable piece of legislation in existence.
From 2:24 to 2:29
He was one of Donald Trump's most controversial appointments: the former Three Star General who appeared at a banquet held in the honour of the Russian government, a banquet held in Moscow, where he appeared alongside Vladimir Putin. Now, though, Mike Flynn has been forced to quit as National Security Adviser over his contacts with - guess who - the Russians. We spoke to the Russian Ambassador to Washington before taking office - nothing wrong with that. What was wrong was that he initially assured everyone including those in the White House that he had not talked about lifting sanctions imposed by President Obama until that account was contradicted by other government officials. We're joined now by someone who knows the Trump team well - who was a member of the Trump transition team - Dr Jan Halper-Hayes. Morning to you.
Wasn't Mike Flynn an accident waiting to happen?
Well, y'know, we can put that negative spin on it, y'know, one of the things that is really critical is that our National Security Council is possibly in trouble because his deputy was fired last Friday, so the top two are gone, but Flynn was more like Patton - he great on the battlefield but he wasn't great in his management style and I think that the intelligent services really resented him because one of the things about the intelligence services is that they always exist no matter what the Administration so they tend to really like the power they hold on to. Flynn was really threatening that power.
Are you suggesting that his enemies in the Administration - his enemies, as it were, who are officials who didn't come in with Donald Trump, that they got him?
Well, I wouldn't say they got him, but actually they out and out recommended up front Sally Yates who quit over what you guys call it the ban, I don't, yes, the travel ban ...
Actually, Donald Trump called it the ban, but we'll move on.
Well, Sally Yates, Clapper and Brennan had all suggested that he was carrying on his relationship with Russia because of his business contacts were not highly advisable and so they recommended it but when Trump [inaudible] someone ...
So let's go back to the idea of an accident waiting to happen, shall we? You say it was my spin. Senator John McCain, a Republican, advised against this appointment. Virtually anybody in the Republican Security establishment said that Mike Flynn was too close to Moscow.
Well, there was that concern, there always is. Look, I frankly don't hold McCain in high regard with anything that he says because he is so out to get the Trump Administration and anyone who is associated with it so ...
The reason I am asking about it is to ask you whether Trump Administration will - and Donald Trump himself will learn from this mistake or will they assume that all he did wrong was say one thing to the Vice President and then something rather different later.
Well, y'know, always the cover up is worse than the crime. He shouldn't have lied. He shouldn't have lied about the discussion, and that was really the critical problem because if he did lie although yesterday Russia came out and said that they did not have a discussion about sanctions, so, y'know ...
And you believe Moscow's version of events?
No, I'm not saying I believe. What it does is it makes me even more suspicious. It makes me more suspicious of whether he actually did or he didn't, but let's just say he did. He did it as a US citizen therefore he was in violation of the Logan Act because as a US citizen you cannot discuss any Administration business, so if he did that then he really needed to step down and ...
Very briefly if you would, what is the lesson that needs to be learned? Don't trust your old chums, isn't it?
No, I can't take that kind of spin on it. I just absolutely can't. I mean, we're going to have every Administration ends up having problems like this. There's always people who have vetted them as best as they can and who have done all the investigations of all the people they know and then people do something that messes something up, and so I don't think you can then smear the entire Administration. What can Mike Flynn learn from this? Tell the truth.
Flynn affair is just not that shocking to me. I am fatigued from being told to be shocked and horrified by Trump as must be others.— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 13, 2017
Her detractors hv complained about the hesitant delivery of Jan Halper-Hayes, but what I find most engaging about her is the delivery itself— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
I was just about to tweet on Flynn's resignation, "There but for the grace of God go I", when Jan Halper-Hayes came on #r4today— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
If I had been Mike Flynn, I could easily have made the same mistake of mentioning sanctions in any conversation with any high level Russian.— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
Did Mike Flynn say "I'll see what I can do about the sanctions for you once the Trump Administration gets going"? SHOCK HORROR. #r4today— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
It was very annoying @bbcnickrobinson kept cutting off Jan Halper-Hayes when she started to say something interesting. Deliberate? #r4today— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
What was Mike Flynn actually guilty of doing anyway? Did he inadvertently say the word "sanctions" in a conversation he had with a Russian?— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
Was Mike Flynn guilty of saying to a Russian "Nite nite, don't let the sanctions bite"? #r4today— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
Jan Halper-Hayes was saying something very interesting about the Logan Act before @bbcnickrobinson cut her off. #r4today— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
.@bbcnickrobinson would justify interrupting Jan Halper-Hayes cos time constraints did not allow the time to explain Logan Act properly.— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
I wonder how much time Jan Halper-Hayes or indeed anyone would need to explain the Logan Act properly. I would say a full hour. #r4today— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
@SmithTonyD https://t.co/jxHG1csryv is a shortish entry, but many senior Americans in foreign relations have been caught by it. @Biz_Shrink— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
@SmithTonyD It is probably better for the American national interest that the Logan Act be repealed. Its wording is too wide and vague.— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
It is this very hesitancy that makes one hang on her every word. Hesitating over saying travel ban or Muslim ban was actually quite artful. https://t.co/Y4ZaAmOc35— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
If I were to give a lecture on the Logan Act to law students, I would include in its title THE TYRANNY OF AMBIGUITY. https://t.co/jxHG1caQ9V https://t.co/hswuYIwHzx— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
Sadly, it is probably not possible for @realDonaldTrump to repeal the Logan Act 1799 by Executive Order but it is a briefly cheering thought— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
"The Logan Act 1799 is a ball and chain around the feet of senior Americans trying to do their best for their country and must be repealed."— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
I have just read https://t.co/jxHG1csryv - and am convinced more than ever of the need for its repeal. War of US Independence well over. https://t.co/4llWhLtZr5— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
The Logan Act 1799 is a historic legal carbuncle and the time for its repeal is now nigh. Other countries do not have such laws, do they? https://t.co/utEPMdHzRr— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
@YorksLiberty The Logan Act 1799 is just used by US government and politicians who want to catch each other up. It has no other function.— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
@ntfem @YorksLiberty Logan act is really there to stop back channels anyone negotiating policy with foreign state has to be in Government.— Fat (@Bloke_On_A_Bike) February 14, 2017
@Bloke_On_A_Bike @YorksLiberty It is unnecessarily restrictive. If the deal is good then the government adopts it. What's wrong with that?— Claire Khaw (@ntfem) February 14, 2017
@ntfem @YorksLiberty surly you can see issue with private individuals claiming to speak on behalf of State remember poor Liam Fox's friend— Fat (@Bloke_On_A_Bike) February 14, 2017
Why the Logan Act should be repealed By Edward A. Zelinsky
How I would have answered the Nick Robinson question about what lessons should be learned
"The most important lessons to be learned from this sorry mess is that legislation that no longer serves its purpose should be repealed. Nobody is quite sure why Congress passed a piece of retrospective legislation in 1799 that seems directed solely at George Logan, a Quaker, and a Republican-Democrat Jeffersonian, by the Federalists. Suffice to say it was of its time and apparently enacted to deal with a man who was considered to be a "busybody" and "a great fool". It no longer has modern relevance and for this reason this legislation should not remain in existence for the sole purpose of being used by the neocon establishment against a Trump appointee just because he is a Trump appointee. "