In the days since Michael Flynn resigned as President Trump’s national security adviser, there have been a lot of questions and not many answers. Many still wonder exactly what transpired between Flynn and the Russian ambassador he now admits to having had contact with. Though we still don’t know the details of many of those conversations, we can discuss potential criminal aspects of Flynn’s resignation, of which there are several.
First, let’s talk about Flynn. Did he break any laws that could result in criminal action? There are two issues at play here: 1) the Logan Act and 2) potential false statements. First, the Logan Act is a piece of legislation that makes it a crime for a private citizen to communicate with a foreign government without proper authority in an attempt to influence the actions of the foreign government. The law is an oldie, but a goodie, having been signed back in 1799 by then President John Adams. The law resulted from actions by a state legislator who went behind the president’s back to try and negotiate a settlement to an undeclared war with France.