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The Limits of Executive Privilege

POGO – “In light of the House Judiciary Committee’s important hearing today on executive privilege and Congressional oversight, we have excerpted portions of When Congress Comes Calling, The Constitution Project at the Project On Government Oversight’s study on legislative inquiry. The author of When Congress Comes Calling, Morton Rosenberg, served for over 35 years at the Congressional Research Service.

As these sections explain, while executive privilege has an important place in the separation of powers, history and case law show that it is far from absolute, and that Congress can, and has in the past, overcome many claims of privilege.

The following excerpts outline the legal and practical balance between Congressional access and executive prerogatives, discussing the presidential communications, attorney-client, and deliberative process privileges. They also examine the merits, or lack thereof, of other executive branch objections to Congressional inquiries, particularly in the context of oversight of the Department of Justice…”

Download the full report, When Congress Comes Calling.

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