Archive for the '93rd Congress' Category

Executive privilege does not apply in an impeachment inquiry

barbarajordan76.jpgHon. Barbara Jordan photo by Richard Avedon
One argument for impeachment is that it would force the Administration to hand over material it has been withholding by citing ‘executive privilege.’ Historically, executive privilege has been claimed by Presidents as a means of protecting the affairs of the White House from interference by Congress. They have argued that granting Congress access to ‘privileged’ communications between the President, the Vice President, and White House advisors would violate the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers among the three branches of government.In 1973, the House Judiciary Committee found that executive privilege does not extend to an impeachment inquiry, and in fact cited refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by Congress in the course of an impeachment inquiry in its Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon.”Article III charged that President Nixon, by failing, without lawful cause or excuse and in willfull disobedience of the subpoenas of the House, to produce papers and things that the Committee had subpoenaed in the course of its impeachment inquiry, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the constitutional power of impeachment vested in the House.” (emphasis mine) Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States. The Final Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives.” House Report 93-1305, 93rd Congress, August 20, 1974.


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