From the NPR:
If Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, was trying to reassure the Russian ambassador about sanctions leveled by the Obama administration, then he may have broken the law.
That law is the Logan Act. It's gotten a lot of attention recently and is at the center of the scandal surrounding Flynn, who resigned Monday night after multiple reports were published noting that he had misled the vice president and others in the administration. Flynn categorically denied to Mike Pence, then vice president-elect, last month that he had discussed the sanctions.
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799 ) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States.
But now read,from 1963:
That afternoon, however, the (Cuban Missile) crisis took a dramatic turn. ABC News correspondent John Scali reported to the White House that he had been approached by a Soviet agent suggesting that an agreement could be reached in which the Soviets would remove their missiles from Cuba if the United States promised not to invade the island
The above account is from the State Department's website, but Scalli and his friends told it differently :
In 1962, when Scali was a diplomatic reporter for ABC News, President John F. Kennedy disclosed the existence of offensive missile sites in Cuba and warned that if any were fired at the U.S., the nation would retaliate against Moscow, not Havana.
Two days later, Scali was contacted by Alexandr S. Fomin, a KGB official in Washington and a personal friend of Khrushchev.
"Is Kennedy serious? Would he really do that?" Fomin asked Scali. "You're goddamn right he would," Scali said, according to a friend, Warren Rogers.
Over lunch, Fomin outlined a proposal under which the Soviets would dismantle the Cuban missile bases if the American government would pledge not to invade Cuba.
Scali got the message to the President. The next day, Khrushchev added a stipulation to the proposal that the United States abandon its missile bases in Turkey. A furious Scali met Fomin to denounce a "dirty, rotten, lousy, stinking double-cross."
The United States ignored the Turkey-base proposal and concluded the negotiations through Scali.
However, Kennedy would not allow Scali to tell the story.
ABC planned to disclose the account after Kennedy's assassination, but the Los Angeles Times and its New York sister publication Newsday published the story first.