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Executive Privilege

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NEWS
August 5, 2008
House Democrats were correct to go to court to compel White House officials to appear before Congress. A federal judge late last week validated the decision by Democrats to file suit, ruling that White House aides aren't above the law. U.S. District Court Judge John Bates said that chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers must answer subpoenas from Congress. The House Judiciary Committee wants to ask Miers and Bolten about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys and whether they were politically motivated.
NEWS
March 23, 1990 | By Ellen Warren, Inquirer Washington Bureau
On all kinds of issues, George Bush has been accused of waffling. But on one matter of principle and taste, he was absolutely unyielding yesterday. "I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli," he told an alfresco news conference at the White House. Answering questions on the lawn after a tree-planting ceremony, Bush said firmly: "I do not like broccoli. " "I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it," he explained.
NEWS
June 22, 2012 | Pete Yost, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Setting up a potential constitutional confrontation, a Republican-controlled House panel voted Wednesday to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress hours after President Obama invoked executive privilege - for the first time - to withhold documents the committee demanded. The 23-17 party-line vote followed hours of caustic debate. The controversy goes next to the full House, where Republican Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said there would be a vote next week unless there was a resolution in the meantime.
NEWS
June 27, 2012 | By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - With a vote looming to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, a House committee chairman is challenging President Obama's claim of executive privilege, invoked to maintain secrecy for some documents related to a failed gun-tracking operation. Obama's claim broadly covers administration documents about the program called Operation Fast and Furious, not just those prepared for the president. But Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that recommended the contempt charge, maintains the privilege is reserved for documents to and from the president and his most senior advisers.
NEWS
February 17, 1988 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Public Advocate Alfred A. Slocum and Gov. Kean have asserted executive privilege in a lawsuit charging Slocum with age discrimination and reverse racial discrimination in his office's hiring practices. Yesterday, a judge in Camden ruled that Slocum must turn over memos between himself and the governor so that the judge can decide whether executive privilege applies and whether the documents are relevant to the case. The case involves H. Ian Wachstein, the former deputy public defender in charge of the Public Defender's Office in Camden County.
NEWS
May 2, 1998 | By Angie Cannon, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr yesterday likened his fight with President Clinton's lawyers over what a president may keep private to the Watergate prosecutors' challenge of President Richard M. Nixon. In a professorial address to the San Antonio Bar Association, Starr noted that he was speaking on the 24th anniversary of the day Nixon's attorneys said they would attempt to block prosecutors' access to audiotapes made by a secret Oval Office system. Nixon ultimately lost that effort to invoke executive privilege.
NEWS
June 2, 1998 | By Angie Cannon and Aaron Epstein, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Sidestepping comparisons to Watergate, President Clinton and his lawyers changed their legal strategy yesterday and abandoned their fight over executive privilege with independent counsel Kenneth Starr. The decision opens the way for grand jury testimony by White House communications aide Sidney Blumenthal in Starr's investigation of sex and perjury allegations involving Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. But White House lawyers will continue to invoke attorney-client privilege to shield another aide, Bruce Lindsey, a longtime Clinton friend and White House lawyer, from answering questions before the same grand jury.
NEWS
February 9, 1990 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Without help from President Bush, former President Ronald Reagan's chances of keeping his personal White House diaries secret are greatly reduced, a federal judge indicated yesterday. Up to now, Bush's support has been limited to a statement that he believes Reagan's claim is proper. Reagan has claimed executive privilege - a doctrine intended to protect confidential presidential communications from public disclosure - in response to U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene's order that Reagan turn over 33 diary excerpts to John M. Poindexter, who goes on trial Feb. 20 on charges stemming from the Iran-contra affair.
NEWS
March 28, 1998
Bill Clinton worked hard for President Nixon's Democratic opponent; his future wife worked as a congressional staff lawyer to get Mr. Nixon impeached. Now, in a sorry twist for the "most ethical administration in history," the Clintons are going to Nixonian lengths to thwart independent counsel Kenneth Starr. All that's missing is for Mr. Clinton to purr, "I am not a crook. " The President has invoked "executive privilege" to excuse top advisers from answering certain questions before Mr. Starr's grand jury.
NEWS
February 20, 1998 | By Angie Cannon, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The White House prepared yesterday for a possible legal fight over President Clinton's ability to protect the secrecy of certain conversations he may have had with top advisers about Monica Lewinsky. As Bruce Lindsey, one of Clinton's closest aides, testified for a second day before a federal grand jury, the White House continued negotiating with Whitewater prosecutors to limit Lindsey's testimony. At issue is a legalism called executive privilege, which protects some confidential presidential discussions from disclosure.
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NEWS
January 20, 2016
HAWAII Search for Marines in crash suspended Officials Tuesday suspended their search for 12 Marines who were aboard two helicopters that crashed off Hawaii last week. Among those missing were two men from Pennsylvania, Capt. Brian Kennedy, 31, of Malvern, and Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, of Gardners, north of Gettysburg. The round-the-clock effort failed to locate any sign of the 12 despite five days of searching by several agencies. Officials said at a news conference that the search would transition to "recovery and salvage" efforts.
NEWS
October 10, 2013
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently proposed a potentially transformative new rule that would require publicly traded companies to compare chief executive compensation with median employee pay. Though the rule was called for in 2010, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act, corporate lobbyists succeeded in slowing it down until last month, when a divided SEC voted 5-3 for the rule and opened a...
NEWS
August 14, 2012 | By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Republican-run House on Monday asked a federal court to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding that he produce records on a bungled gun-tracking operation known as Operation Fast and Furious. The lawsuit asked the court to reject a claim by President Obama asserting executive privilege, a legal position designed to protect certain internal administration communications from disclosure. The failure of Holder and House Republicans to work out a deal on the documents led to votes in June that held the attorney general in civil and criminal contempt of Congress.
NEWS
July 2, 2012 | Freelance
In another geological era, I served as a special attorney with the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. Way back then, working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, we conducted investigations with the quaint object of making prosecutable cases against actual felons. Well, so much for the good old days. The Obama Justice Department has apparently come up with a novel, new mission. "Operation Fast and Furious" sanctioned and promoted illegal sales by American gun shops of thousands of military-style semiautomatic rifles to straw purchasers for the Mexican drug cartels.
NEWS
June 30, 2012 | By Larry Margasak and Pete Yost, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department declared Friday that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s decision to withhold information about a bungled gun-tracking operation from Congress does not constitute a crime and he won't be prosecuted for contempt of Congress. The House voted Thursday afternoon to find Holder in criminal and civil contempt for refusing to turn over the documents. President Obama had invoked his executive privilege authority and ordered Holder not to turn over materials about executive branch deliberations and internal recommendations.
NEWS
June 27, 2012 | By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - With a vote looming to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, a House committee chairman is challenging President Obama's claim of executive privilege, invoked to maintain secrecy for some documents related to a failed gun-tracking operation. Obama's claim broadly covers administration documents about the program called Operation Fast and Furious, not just those prepared for the president. But Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that recommended the contempt charge, maintains the privilege is reserved for documents to and from the president and his most senior advisers.
NEWS
June 23, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
It would be reassuring to think all the attention being paid to a botched federal gun-trafficking program called "Operation Fast and Furious" was about Brian Terry, the U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death is inextricably linked to that debacle.   Many a fine speech has been made in recent weeks in which Terry's name has been invoked. But in a Congress that can't agree on the time of day without consulting partisan timepieces, the rhetoric has more to do with presidential politics than the slain officer.
NEWS
June 22, 2012 | Pete Yost, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Setting up a potential constitutional confrontation, a Republican-controlled House panel voted Wednesday to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress hours after President Obama invoked executive privilege - for the first time - to withhold documents the committee demanded. The 23-17 party-line vote followed hours of caustic debate. The controversy goes next to the full House, where Republican Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said there would be a vote next week unless there was a resolution in the meantime.
NEWS
June 22, 2012 | By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Speaker John Boehner demanded Thursday that the Obama administration give in and turn over documents related to a botched gun-tracking operation, insisting that is the only way to stop a House vote to hold the attorney general in contempt. Boehner took a hard line against the administration and Attorney General Eric Holder despite a willingness by House Republicans and Holder to negotiate a settlement before the matter becomes a constitutional crisis. The president has invoked executive privilege, a legal principle used to avoid disclosure of internal presidential documents.
NEWS
July 26, 2011 | By Beth DeFalco, Associated Press
TRENTON - The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey said Monday that it would likely drop a lawsuit filed earlier in the day against Gov. Christie seeking records that confirm he met with the head of Fox News last year. The ACLU filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of a reporter for Gawker Entertainment L.L.C., saying the governor's office had issued a blanket refusal to release any records pertaining to the meeting. After the governor's office confirmed the September 2010 meeting, the ACLU relented.
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