Friday, April 13, 2007

Executive Privilege Absurdity

Various White Houses have made more or less copious claims for executive privilege. But even Richard Nixon was not half this audacious. Remember those Republican National Committee emails that seem to have gone missing? President Bush's lawyers says that if they're ever 'found' then they're covered by executive privilege too.

From the Times ...

The clash also seemed to push the White House and Democrats closer to a serious confrontation over executive privilege, with the White House counsel, Fred F. Fielding, asserting that the administration has control over countless other e-mail messages that the Republican National Committee has archived. Democrats are insisting that they are entitled to get the e-mail messages directly from the national committee.

This one is worth slowing down and seeing just what the White House is saying. Executive privilege doesn't just apply to conversations the president has with his top aides. It doesn't just apply to conversations his top aides have with each other. It doesn't even just apply to any presidential aides doing anything connected to the White House. Executive privilege applies to the outside political party work the president's aides do on their own time.