executive privilege

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Contempt Vote Delayed After Trump Asserts Privilege

At issue are subpoenaed census documents

(Newser) - The Justice Department on Tuesday warned of the move, and on Wednesday it came to pass. President Trump has exerted executive privilege over documents related to his administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Hill reports those documents include drafts of a letter penned by... More »

IRS Memo Contradicts Administration on Trump Tax Returns

It rejects Mnuchin's reason for withholding them

(Newser) - A draft Internal Revenue Service memo obtained by the Washington Post directly undercuts Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's rationale for refusing to give President Trump's tax returns to House lawmakers—and may expose a rift in the IRS over the issue. The legal memo prepared last fall states that... More »

Trump Calls Executive Privilege Before Barr Contempt Vote

Fight over the unredacted version of the Mueller report rages on

(Newser) - The House Judiciary Committee gathered Wednesday morning for its vote on holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over the DOJ's refusal to comply with a subpoena for an unredacted version of the Mueller report. Big news came just beforehand: A letter delivered Tuesday night to committee... More »

It's Possible Trump Could Block Comey Testimony

Welcome to the 'fuzzy' world of executive privilege

(Newser) - Don't be shocked if James Comey doesn't testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Thursday, as scheduled. Comey is sure to be asked about his conversations with President Trump, particularly as they relate to Michael Flynn , as part of an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election,... More »

Justice Department: No, We Won't Prosecute the Boss

Agency tells John Boehner it won't pursue criminal contempt charges

(Newser) - The House may think Eric Holder is criminally contempt , but the Justice Department thinks the House can go fly a kite. The department informed John Boehner today that it won't prosecute its boss on the contempt charges, reports the Washington Post . The letter was drafted yesterday, the same day... More »

Upping the Ante, Issa Says Obama Conspired With DOJ

Congressman's letter escalates Fast & Furious battle

(Newser) - Darrell Issa is upping his attack on President Obama following the president's use of executive privilege in an attempt to bail out Eric Holder. A letter to Obama released today minces no words: "Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious... More »

Executive Privilege a Risky Move for Obama

President now owns Fast and Furious scandal

(Newser) - President Obama's decision to invoke executive privilege for the first time in his administration is a bold but risky move in an election year, pundits say. Here's a look at what he's up against now:
  • Most administrations assert executive privilege at some point, but Obama has started
... More »

Obama Invokes Executive Privilege, Bails Out Holder

Darrell Issa pushes forward with contempt hearing anyway

(Newser) - Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to justify withholding certain documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal from Congress, just minutes before the House Oversight Committee was set to hold a contempt hearing against Attorney General Eric Holder. But the committee pressed ahead with the contempt hearing anyway, Fox News... More »

As With Bush, Obama Won't Release WH Visitors List

(Newser) - Despite President Obama’s promise of transparency, the administration is blocking requests for the White House visitors list, MSNBC reports, defying two federal court rulings that the lists are public record. In addition to denying MSNBC’s request for a list of all visitors since Jan. 20, the Secret Service... More »

New Obama Plan Aims to Control Exec Pay

(Newser) - The White House will roll out a plan next week to oversee executive pay and more deeply regulate Wall Street, the New York Times reports. Officials are still debating the details, but under the proposal, the Fed will supervise compensation at financial firms, banks, and other companies—even ones that... More »

Obama Could Expose Secrets of the Bush Years

On torture, wiretapping, and more, Bush legacy rests with successor

(Newser) - Good government groups spent years suing and lobbying to expose the Bush administration’s secrets. Will President Obama spill the beans on his predecessor? Politico outlines major secrets Obama can choose to air or keep:
  • US attorney firings: Claiming executive privilege, Karl Rove refused to testify. But Rove has been
... More »

Investigate Bush: Conyers

Congress must review his abuses to prevent a repeat

(Newser) - As the country moves forward, we can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past: it’s time to review the abuses of the Bush administration, writes Michigan congressman John Conyers, Jr. in the Washington Post. Congress must keep pushing for “stonewalled” Bush documents; it should create an... More »

Bush Could Block Probes Even After He Steps Down

Soon-to-be ex-prez has Truman, Nixon precedents for keeping executive privilege

(Newser) - President Bush may be able to maintain his executive privilege to block investigations even after he leaves office, the New York Times reports. Harry Truman successfully claimed he had the right not to testify in 1953, nearly a year after he left office, and Richard Nixon later used Truman's case... More »

Bush Aides Must Testify: Judge

Judge rejects administration's interpretation of executive privilege

(Newser) - Turning aside White House arguments that top aides are protected from subpoenas by executive privilege, a judge ruled today that Harriet Miers must testify before a congressional committee on the firings of nine federal prosecutors, the Washington Post reports. Miers and fellow aide Joshua Bolten can, however, invoke executive privilege... More »

'Creative' Bush Order Shields Cheney from Plame Probe

Cheney's FBI interviews kept from Congress with executive privilege claim

(Newser) - President Bush has invoked an unprecedented executive privilege claim to bar FBI interviews with Dick Cheney from a congressional committee probing the leak that exposed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, Newsweek reports. The Bush order argues that turning over the records of Cheney's grilling concerning the scandal would violate... More »

Separation of Powers? Leave Prez's BlackBerry Out of It

Scrutiny on email deprives executive of key communications tool—though not Congress

(Newser) - The 44th president will almost certainly kick off his term by quitting email cold turkey, Jamie Sneider writes in the Weekly Standard. With executive-branch communication subject to public-disclosure law, President Bush hasn't send a single message, the former White House aide says—a coping mechanism that "fails to strike... More »

Showdown Looms Over Cheney Staffer

VP battling House subpoena for key aide on interrogation policy

(Newser) - Whether a key Dick Cheney aide can be forced to testify is at the heart of a pending blow-up between Congress and the White House over a probe into interrogation techniques, Reuters reports. The House Judiciary Committee plans to subpoena Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington—but the vice president... More »

Mukasey Nixes Bush Aides Contempt Case

AG rejects House request, saying no crime was committed

(Newser) - A  showdown over executive privilege got more likely yesterday when Attorney General Michael Mukasey said he wouldn't pursue contempt charges against two Bush aides, Reuters reports. Mukasey rejected the request from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to refer the case to a grand jury, arguing that they had committed no crime... More »

2007's Biggest White House Whoppers

Slate runs down the Bush team's most dubious legal claims

(Newser) - In her second annual roundup of the Bush administration's most egregious legal arguments, Dahlia Lithwick of Slate offers her top 10 doozies:
  1. The United States does not torture
  2. State-secrets privilege used to shield almost anything.
  3. Almost anything Alberto Gonzales said.
  4. The nine US attorneys were fired for cause.
  5. Anyone who
... More »

Bush Can't Protect Rove, Senator Says

Executive privilege doesn't hold; ex-aides ordered to testify

(Newser) - President Bush’s attempts to protect Karl Rove from testifying about the firings of US attorneys were shot down today by the Senate Judiciary Committee, meaning Rove will likely face contempt charges unless he complies with congressional subpoenas, the Associated Press reports. Bush had cited executive privilege, which protects advisers,... More »

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