Over the course of the past six years many Americans have felt frustrated that Republicans have deliberately worked against the best interests of the American people with impunity. What makes the frustration all the more unbearable is that most people feel there is nothing they can possibly do for redress to hold Republicans accountable for what, in many cases, are blatant violations of federal laws. In a great deal of the cases, a major share of the blame falls on the impotent Department of Justice that is either terrified of investigating what is often seditious and blatant Republican malfeasance, or looks the other way to avoid the appearance of partisan political retribution. Whatever the reason for failing to do its due diligence, it often falls on the people to take matters into their own hands and start a petition.
This week, a MoveOn.org petition began circulating for the purpose of prosecuting Speaker of the House John A. Boehner for willfully breaking a federal law when he knowingly violated the 216 year-old Logan Act. The petition demands that Boehner, “by law must now be tried by Congress, and forced to resign.” However, according to 18 U.S.C. § 953 (Logan Act), by violating the “Logan Act” (Private correspondence with foreign governments) Boehner can be punished “under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years. Any act of prosecuting and convicting the Speaker must be initiated by a Justice Department United States Attorney; at best Congress can conduct its own investigation for ethics violations and expel Boehner, or he can resign. The Koch brothers or Benjamin Netanyahu will never allow that to happen, but by all means please sign the petition and relieve that crushing feeling of frustration.
The petition accurately claims that by “directly commencing and carrying on correspondence with an officer of a foreign government (Netanyahu) with intent to influence or defeat the measures of the United States,” Boehner broke a federal law. It also is correct that Boehner attempted to deal in foreign policy to usurp the powers of the presidency of the United States thus violating the “separation of powers” in the U.S. Constitution. But the only prosecutable crime is “corresponding with an agent of a foreign government with the intent to influence or defeat the measures of the United States” according to the Logan Act. The petition is to be “to be delivered to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama.”
Now, one certainly understands why the petition is not “to be delivered” to the Department of Justice or a United States Attorney; it would be tantamount to flushing it away in a toilet. The Department of Justice just does not investigate or prosecute willful violations of federal laws when Republicans or any of their variant malcontents are involved. As the President has already stated, his administration would rather focus on looking ahead to a hopeful future than backwards; or war criminals George W. Bush and Dick Cheney et al and admitted torturers would already be in federal prisons.
The Congress, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Elections Commission, and Department of Justice have had several opportunities to prosecute John Boehner, but he is above the law. He was viewed, and admitted to, handing out tobacco industry bribes on the floor of the House for favorable votes in 1996, and was given a pass because he claimed he was just complying with a tobacco corporation’s orders. Apparently, as long as Boehner was just following a tobacco corporation’s orders to hand out bribes, Congress or the Justice Department took a ‘hands off’ approach to clearly unethical conduct.
In 2010 according to his financial disclosure, Boehner purchased stock in seven Canadian tar sand companies prior to becoming Speaker of the House, and promptly began lying about the ‘hundreds-of-thousands” of American jobs with the KeystoneXL pipeline construction. His lies were in spite of TransCanada’s own prospectus touting no more than 2,400 temporary jobs and 35 permanent positions before he began his push to increase his portfolio worth by inflating share prices. A petition was started, and two outside environmental groups sent damning documents to the Security Exchange Commission that began mulling an investigation into Boehner’s apparent share price manipulation. However, because a foreign corporation (TransCanada), the Koch brothers, and a foreign nation’s leader (Canadian Prime Minister Harper) wanted the pipeline pushed, Boehner complied and was given another pass.
Now, Boehner committed another clear violation; this time of a federal law, and another petition is making the rounds in hopes that the Koch Congress will take action? They have no authority in matters of prosecuting federal laws and if any American thinks for a second that the Department of Justice will take action they are just glaringly ignorant; hopeful, but ignorant. Republicans will not allow it and dog-only-knows Netanyahu will bring his considerable clout to bear on the Justice Department. A Justice Department, by the way, that cannot even prosecute a white racist cop for gunning down an unarmed African American teen because apparently murder is not a prosecutable civil rights violation.
In fact, this particular Department of Justice cannot prosecute any white conservatives regardless of the seditious intent or stated attempt to start a “second revolution” against the United States government. It is coming up on a year since a white racist rancher summoned equally white racist and heavily armed militias to aim loaded firearms at agents of the federal government executing two federal court orders with impunity and immunity from prosecution. Likely because conservative media and several high-ranking Republican politicians proclaimed the sedition was patriotic; like a sitting president’s administration authorizing the torture of captive prisoners.
In another case of injustice, in a federal court agreement last year, the Internal Revenue Service was ordered to begin investigating and prosecuting evangelical churches for violating their 501(c) tax exempt status. Nothing has happened in spite of over 5,000 evangelical preachers sending videotaped evidence of their illegal campaigning for Republicans from the pulpit daring the IRS to enforce the law. Being a religious right lawbreaker is just as profitable as being a seditious rancher or Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives.
By all means; sign the MoveOn.org petition demanding that Speaker of the House John A. Boehner face prosecution in federal court and expulsion from Congress. Like his other unethical congressional acts and corrupt violations of federal laws, there is no doubt he violated the 216 year-old Logan Act by inviting a foreigner to “influence and defeat a measure of the United States.”
However, know first that the only satisfaction any signer will ever get is while they are filling in those little boxes typical of any online petition. Because no matter how many signatures the petition garners, Speaker of the House John A Boehner is going to face the same justice and consequences as the racist white cop who gunned down an unarmed African American teen; none whatsoever. After all, this is America and there is no equity in the justice system; particularly for a criminal who is a repeat offender named is John Boehner.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.