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Brian Brown's Trip To Russia May Result In Felony Litigation

Brian Brown Russia

We told you a few days ago how Brian Brown's trip to Russia to encourage an adoption ban by gay parents may have violated the Logan Act, which says:

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
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.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

Brown, predictably, responded to the allegation by calling it "absurd" and stating “It is laughable how little [Karger] understands that in America we’re free to stand up and speak for things like traditional marriage around the world,” nevermind that Brown wasn't in America at the time of the incident. Rachel Maddow ripped into him for his statements and his reprehensible stance that children should be removed from gay families, even if the child and gay parent are biologically related.

A State Department spokesperson could neither confirm nor deny whether or not they had received Karger's letter, but said, “[I]f and when we do receive it, we will review it and respond appropriately.”

If charged and convicted, Brown could spend up to three years in a federal prison.

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  1. Three years in prison.....what a pleasant dream.

    Posted by: john patrick | Oct 11, 2013 5:24:36 PM

  2. Like what dissidents did in the former Soviet Union, he may have to seek asylum in Russia. It is an indication things are not going well at home that he has to waste his time in foreign countries.

    Posted by: simon | Oct 11, 2013 5:25:31 PM

  3. Yeah except that NOM is constantly breaking the law and getting caught. Nothing sticks to them, the only victory possible is one where they fizzle out.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 11, 2013 5:32:51 PM

  4. If he likes it so much in Russia he should move there and stay...Of course it is against the law to criticize govt officials there.

    Posted by: Robert | Oct 11, 2013 5:33:59 PM

  5. Don't get your hopes up. There has ever only been one such conviction. The law is targeted at much higher level stuff than this.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 11, 2013 5:41:57 PM

  6. "people" like that think rules are to be broken if they feel like it.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Oct 11, 2013 5:52:38 PM

  7. @ STEVE :

    That's a pity.....I would like to have seen him serve at least three years......what stories he would have to tell.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 11, 2013 5:54:09 PM

  8. Hmm... It seems quite evident to me that BOTH Brian Brown and Scott Lively are in violation of the Logan Act in apparently separate incidences. Why does not the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the entire Justice Department see to it that they are fined fully and in prison for the maximum amount of time?

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 11, 2013 5:55:43 PM

  9. Then perhaps it is past time for more convictions!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 11, 2013 5:57:42 PM

  10. @simon - asylum in russia? we can't have that, sounds like he might enjoy his stay.

    how 'bout remand him in custody in the castro, no bail...

    Posted by: northalabama | Oct 11, 2013 5:58:51 PM

  11. A little jail time would do so much good, he could come out and have an excuse why...

    Posted by: Bubba | Oct 11, 2013 6:15:23 PM

  12. I'm sorry, but every time I see Brown's bubble face, I want to smack the crullers dipped in cheese sauce and gravy out of his hands.

    Posted by: FC | Oct 11, 2013 6:18:05 PM

  13. it's unlikely to result in a conviction. but at least this sort of thing may make them think twice before exporting their homohatred propaganda techniques.

    Posted by: candide001 | Oct 11, 2013 6:33:52 PM

  14. aw, if Mr. Brown ended up in prison, I would bake him a cake with a file in it..................

    Posted by: Bernie | Oct 11, 2013 6:37:39 PM

  15. The law as quoted does not relate to what Brown did. Russia's laws are not in any dispute with America's laws in the area of Gay Civil Rights, "in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States." America is not involved in any litigation or dispute with Russia over Civil Rights and Gay citizens. They might talk back and forth and call each other's policies bad, but there is no legal action one nation against the other in this specific regard. Brown is off the hook. What he did is offensive, but he is not in conflict with the American government or US laws.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Oct 11, 2013 6:44:09 PM

  16. That doesn't mean Russia will change its' policy. They don't want their children near butt riders.

    Posted by: Boris | Oct 11, 2013 7:11:09 PM

  17. The Logan act is specifically designed for individuals manipulating foriegn governments and affairs. Both Brown and Lively ave violated the Logan At. Clearly.

    The question is...does anyone in Government have the balls to go after these two cretins, who'll certainly scream "religious liberty violation" all the while dousing the LGBT population overseas with propagandistic gasoline 'cause they 'can't do it here no more' - Snap!

    Karger does.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Oct 11, 2013 7:13:08 PM

  18. @Sargon Bighorn: in addition, to date there has been precisely one indictment (with no prosecution) under the Logan Act, and that was in the early 1800s. That one indictment involved a newspaper that published an article suggesting that the western part of the U.S (at the time) split off and cozy up to France.

    Neither Brown nor Lively has anything to worry about. A far bigger risk to them is being hit by lightning. There's one thing that is less of a risk to them than the Logan Act: a divine smite from an angry God (primarily because divine smites are about as credible as UFOs.)

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 11, 2013 7:15:31 PM

  19. As much as I want this pig to rot in prison for a decade, I'm more concerned how fired up such a conviction would make the religious right.

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Oct 11, 2013 7:54:14 PM

  20. Does someone know if Brian Brown has children? Should his family situation be studied? Should his children be removed from his care?

    Posted by: Hawthorne | Oct 11, 2013 10:17:40 PM

  21. @Jeremy: The Logan act was passed in 1799, primarily because of partisan politics Here's some of the history from :

    "Congress established the Logan Act in 1799, less than one year after passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, which authorized the arrest and deportation of Aliens and prohibited written communication defamatory to the U.S. government. The 1799 act was named after Dr. George Logan. A prominent Republican and Quaker from Pennsylvania, Logan did not draft or introduce the legislation that bears his name, but was involved in the political climate that precipitated it.

    "In the late 1790s, a French trade embargo and jailing of U.S. seamen created animosity and unstable conditions between the United States and France. Logan sailed to France in the hope of presenting options to its government to improve relations with the United States and quell the growing anti-French sentiment in the United States. France responded by lifting the embargo and releasing the captives. Logan's return to the United States was marked by Republican praise and Federalist scorn." [Note: Republican doesn't mean what it does today]

    There's a general feeling that the Logan Act is unconstitutional. With no one being prosecuted under it, nobody has had standing to ask the Supreme Court to throw it out. It would be really dumb to turn the likes of Brian Brown and Scott Lively into persecuted victims fighting for their civil rights. Does anyone really want these two bozos to go down in history for a lawsuit that ended up overturning an unconstitutional law?

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 12, 2013 12:28:26 AM

  22. This is a repeat of the topic from a few days ago with no additional information. The Logan Act is for stopping unauthorized back-channel treaty negotiations. The intent requirement is clear

    "...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..."

    If the US were negotiating an "adoption" treaty with Russia, then maybe he could be convicted, but otherwise it's a complete stretch.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2013 1:05:44 PM

  23. he won't be laughing when one of his eight (8) children takes the lead of Rick Warren's youngest son, and takes his hopes and dreams and blows them away with a shotgun.

    i don't want it to happen. not at all. but that's what tends to happen when bigots have children.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Oct 12, 2013 2:44:16 PM

  24. @Anon: The Logan Act as written is nearly certainly unconstitutional given the First Amendment. It's one thing to prevent people from passing themselves off as representatives of the U.S. government in order to act against the government's interests, and quite another to say that you can't tell foreign officials something the government doesn't like.

    For instance, if a (future) global-warming-denying president tells British officials that global warming is not real, that should not prevent me, in a discussion with said British officials, from talking about blackbody radiation, atomic physics, etc., all relevant to global warming and in conflict with any U.S. government policy that is predicated on denying physical laws.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 12, 2013 5:03:53 PM

  25. Pity he won't be indicted. I'm sure there are dozens of "bubbas" who would love to make his acquaintance.

    Posted by: Sean Westmann | Oct 12, 2013 5:53:37 PM

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