Opinion| Lawrence David| The latest charge against President Trump, unless Democrats have dreamed up one or two more since last Friday, is that by sending Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to conduct an investigation he has breached some imaginary rule regarding the use of regular channels, only.
In a different world this would be hailed a smart move given Giuliani’s history as a highly respected crime buster. Not in the political sewer of Washington.
Instead of arguing the merits of President Trump’s use of an ‘irregular channel’ let’s take a stroll down memory lane and compare Barack Obama’s use of similar tactics.
In response to a question about the Obama administration’s apparent indecisiveness about Iran, Michael Ledeen wrote this:
(PJ Media) They do have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering.
The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.
Ever since, President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman, and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. In recent months, Middle Eastern leaders reported personal visits from Ms. Jarrett, who briefed them on her efforts to manage the Iranian relationship. This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.
Making this ‘back-channel’ even more sketchy, when Obama’s envoy first made contact with Iran he was a senator.
That was before Obama was president. His minions, likely after consulting with him, continued using ‘irregular channels’ after the election of Donald Trump.
“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Kerry was meeting with a hostile foreign enemy without authority, Giuliani had that authority when President Trump told the President of Ukraine (a friendly foreign state) that he’d be grateful if he helped the president’s envoy in accordance with the MLAT agreement between both countries.
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