FEATURED:

Rubio wants DOJ to find out if Kerry broke law by meeting with Iranians

Rubio wants DOJ to find out if Kerry broke law by meeting with Iranians
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Dems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism MORE (R-Fla.) on Tuesday called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryKerry decries ‘broken’ Washington Christine Blasey Ford has a credibility problem Mellman: Why Kavanaugh should withdraw MORE broke federal laws by meeting with Iranian diplomats after leaving office to discuss the nuclear deal with Tehran.

"The American people deserve to know that U.S. laws are enforced regardless of any individual’s past position," Rubio wrote in a letter to the Justice Department, suggesting that Kerry may have violated the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The Logan Act bars individuals from having private negotiations with foreign governments against U.S. interests, while the Foreign Agents Registration Act requires agents representing the interests of foreign powers to disclose their relationships with international governments.

Kerry has previously defended himself against such claims, saying there is nothing unusual about his contacts with Iranians and other foreign diplomats.

Kerry played a crucial role in crafting the Obama-era agreement, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE earlier this year pulled the United States out of the deal.

Kerry told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier this month that he had met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “three or four” times since leaving office to discuss the nuclear deal and other issues.

Trump last week harshly criticized Kerry over those meetings, calling them "illegal."

“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!” Trump wrote in a tweet.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE also attacked Kerry over the meetings last week, calling them "unseemly and unprecedented" but saying he would "leave the legal determinations to others."

A spokesperson for Kerry defended the former secretary of State in a statement provided to The Hill last week, saying that there was "nothing unusual, let alone unseemly or inappropriate" about the meetings.

“Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous Secretary of State, and in a long phone conversation with Secretary Pompeo earlier this year he went into great detail about what he had learned about the Iranian’s view. No secrets were kept from this administration,” the spokesperson said.