President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE on Monday took aim at former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Walrus detectives: Scientists recruit public to spot mammal from space MORE after his administration announced it would crack down on Iran’s oil exports.
The president suggested that Kerry, who has met with Iranian leaders over the Obama-era nuclear deal that Trump scrapped, broke an obscure law banning private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments without permission from the U.S.
“Iran is being given VERY BAD advice by @JohnKerry and people who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal. Big violation of Logan Act?” Trump tweeted.
Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil. Iran is being given VERY BAD advice by @JohnKerry and people who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal. Big violation of Logan Act?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2019
The Trump administration earlier Monday escalated its efforts to pressure Tehran by threatening to impose sanctions on U.S. allies who purchase oil from Iran.
Kerry, who was a key architect of the Iran deal under President Obama, is a frequent critic of Trump’s foreign policy and has accused him of pursuing regime change in Iran.
Violating the Logan Act, which became law in 1799, is a felony. But only two people have been charged with violating it, the last in 1852, and no one has ever been convicted.
Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn faced accusations he broke the law by discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before Trump's 2017 inauguration. Flynn never faced charges he broke the Logan Act, but he did plead guilty to lying to federal investigators about the talks.