Hardball’s Chris Matthews Suggests GOP Senators May Have Committed ‘Sedition’ Over Iran Letter

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from MRC Newsbusters,

In a sign that the liberal media is deathly afraid of the American public coming around to Republican criticisms of President Obama vis-a-vis Iran, Hardball host Chris Matthews tonight suggested Republican senators may be guilty of sedition by violating the 1799 Logan Act.

Matthews initially used the S-word at the conclusion of an interview segment with Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and Politico senior foreign affairs correspondent Michael Crowley.

At the end of the program, an exasperated Matthews vented his spleen about the GOP, reading from the Logan Act of 1799 and insisting that all 47 senators who signed it violated the law and risk fines and a prison sentence.

The constitutionality of the Logan Act is open to question and hasn’t been adjudicated in a federal tribunal, but it seems highly unlikely that a federal judge worth his salt would countenance a prosecution of a senator for an open letter sent to express an opinion on a matter of foreign policy. After all, Congress and the president share responsibility for American foreign policy, what with the U.S. Senate being the body which must ratify any treaty before it goes into effect and with the Congress holding the power of the purse for enforcing any elements of a U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal.

An open letter to a foreign power reminding said entity of this constitutional reality hardly seems to qualify as the sort of secret, private correspondence barred of private citizens under the Logan Act. Besides First Amendment freedom of speech protections, it’s arguable that Article I, Section 6 speech and debate protections for senators and representatives — “for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place” — would also extend to formal correspondence and would apply in this case.

It’s debatable, of course, whether it’s “craven” at worst or poor form at best for a bunch of senators to intercede in the midst of ongoing presidential negotiations with a foreign power, but methinks ol’ Chris protests too much, particularly in service of a president who has shown he’s all too willing to intrude onto congressional turf when it comes to legislative prerogatives — e.g. executive amnesty, practically rewriting by executive fiat more troublesome portions of ObamaCare.

More From MRC Newsbusters:

Hardball’s Chris Matthews Suggests GOP Senators May Have Committed ‘Sedition’ Over Iran Letter – See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2015/03/09/hardballs-matthews-suggests-gop-senators-committed-sedition-over-iran#sthash.ELZtxkMA.dpuf