Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Tom Cotton82%House Republican Average61%See Full Scorecard82% (R-AR) is the junior senator from Arkansas. In fact, Cotton has only been in the Senate for two months. He spent one term in the House of Representatives before making the leap to the upper house. Prior to his stint in elected politics, Cotton was a soldier in the Iraq War. He is now the most powerful man in Washington.
Cotton rounded up forty-six other Republican senators in Washington to sign a letter to Iran. That letter announced that no deal between President Obama and Iran would ever make it through the United States Senate. The constitution requires a two-thirds vote for any treaty to be ratified. An Iranian deal would not get a majority vote, let alone a two-thirds vote.
The outrage from Democrats was immediately. On twitter, the hashtag “#47traitors” exploded. More than 100,000 people signed a petition demanding the forty-seven senators be arrested for treason. Chris Matthews, the Walter Winchel of MSNBC, yelled at his viewers accusing the senators of violating the Logan Act. The soundbite got picked up and parroted by talking heads who needed a point and had none of their own.
The Logan Act is a law enacted in 1799 by President John Adams. It prohibits citizens from engaging foreign powers in contravention of the United States. Not a single person has ever been convicted of violating the Logan Act. Only one person, in 1803, was ever indicted under the Logan Act. The government is exempt from the law, obviously, and the State Department determined in 1975 that Congress, as a branch of government, was exempt from the Logan Act.