Home/Daniel Larison/Rubio and the Iran Hawks’ Petty Grudge Against Kerry

Rubio and the Iran Hawks’ Petty Grudge Against Kerry

When he’s not busy harassing local businesses on social media, Marco Rubio likes to make spurious charges against former U.S. officials:

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.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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