Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday asked the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into former Secretary of State John Kerry’s private meetings with top Iranian officials, which Trump administration officials have characterized as undermining U.S. interests.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rubio asked the department to determine whether Kerry violated federal laws including the Logan Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The statutes prohibit unauthorized individuals from negotiating with foreign governments and require disclosures by anyone acting on behalf of a foreign government, respectively.
Opponents of the nuclear deal are not satisfied with reneging on the agreement and harming U.S. interests. They feel compelled to go after one of the deal’s leading supporters by manufacturing a controversy over unremarkable meetings that Kerry had with the Iranian foreign minister earlier this year. Kerry informed Pompeo about the meetings ahead of time, and reported back on what he had learned. If the administration’s Iran policy is failing to deliver the promised results, that isn’t because of anything Kerry did, but rather because of the deep flaws inherent in that policy.
Rubio is wasting the Justice Department’s time with this silly request, and it would be a ridiculous waste of resources for the department to honor the request. The junior senator from Florida has never displayed good judgment on matters of foreign policy, but his attempt to get a former Secretary of State brought up on charges for having conversations with another country’s foreign minister is particularly ill-advised. Kerry did nothing illegal, and it is hard to see what he did that warranted Pompeo’s little tantrum about this the other day. Rubio’s decision to join the administration in pursuing this grudge against Kerry is petty and an embarrassment for the people that voted him into office.