- [L]et’s see how this would have played out if the shoe were on the other foot.
- What if Obama had been called by a congressional committee to turn over all internal communications — written and oral — regarding his decision, and he claimed executive privilege? And what if then President Trump were to have waived Obama’s privilege?
- One thing we know to be certain: many of the academic “experts” and media “pundits” who now support the argument that an incumbent president can waive the executive privilege of his predecessor would be making exactly the opposite argument. They would be saying — as I am saying now— that presidents would be reluctant to have confidential communications with their aides if they knew these communications could be made public by their successor in order to gain partisan electoral advantage. It would essentially mark the end of executive privilege, which is rooted in Article II of the Constitution.
- Accurate predictions today require us to know which persons or parties will be helped or hurt by particular outcomes. Hypocrisy reigns. And those who engage in it are not even embarrassed when their double standards are exposed. The current “principle” is that the ends justify the means, especially if the end is the end of Trump.
- “Because we can” has become the current mantra of both parties. Neutral principles, which apply equally without regard to partisan advantage, is for wimps, not party leaders or other government officials. “They do it too” has become the excuse de jure. Both parties do it, but that is not a valid excuse even in hardball politics. Two constitutional violations do not cancel each other. They only make things worse.
- Executive privilege is important to both parties — and to the constitutional rule of law. Today’s partisan victory for Democrats, if their waiver argument is accepted, will soon become their loss should Republicans take control.
- So beware of what you wish for. Today’s dream may well become tomorrow’s nightmare.
- Read more…
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