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About "Executive Privilege"
Executive privilege is “the privilege, claimed by the president for the executive branch of the US government, of withholding information in the public interest” (Oxford English Dictionary). It was infamously invoked by President Nixon in his attempt to cover his involvement in Watergate, but it has been invoked often since then:
- Ronald Reagan (1982) said if the President needed to produce information for Congress, then so should Congress.
- George H.W. Bush (1991) claimed “Only when the accommodation process fails to resolve a dispute and a subpoena is issued does it become necessary for the president to consider asserting executive privilege.”
- Bill Clinton claimed Executive Privilege 14 times during the Monica Lewinski Scandal, and he was the first president to lose in court.
- George W. Bush invoke it six times, and Obama invoked it about the same.
Today Congress seems to be pushing President Trump for documents personal to him as well as seeking testimony from officials who have worked for him. Should such requests be off limits? Extempers get to decide.
This week’s final round goes deep into Executive Privilege. Other topics include vaccinations, the NRA, Joe Biden, the Arms-Trade Treaty, Xi Jinping, Sri Lanka, Charlottesville, and more!
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