A Brief History of Executive Privilege

We’re about to hear a lot about “executive privilege,” and a lot of it will probably be wrong. 

The president’s position—as of this writing—is that he would be very happy to have former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry all testify at his impeachment trial, which begins today. But, out of an abundance of concern for the institutional integrity of the presidency, he reluctantly will have to invoke executive privilege and forbid them from talking. 

He was recently asked about it by Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “You can’t be in the White House as president—future, I’m talking about future, any future presidents—and have a security adviser, anybody having to do with security, and legal, and other things,” the president said. 

“Are you going to invoke executive privilege?” Ingraham asked, seeking clarity. 

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