Trump Attacks Select Committee, Defends Executive Privilege

Trump Attacks Select Committee, Defends Executive Privilege

( – On Wednesday, August 25, former President Donald Trump responded vigorously to actions by the partisan House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. The Democratic-controlled committee seeks to acquire communications from the former president, vice president, chief of staff and others leading up to January 6.

Trump exclaimed that the investigation is a sham, a waste of taxpayer dollars and another distraction from the failures of Joe Biden. The former president added that the committee violated the long-standing principles of privilege by making the request. He stressed that he would “defend executive privilege on behalf of his administration and the Office of the President of the United States.”

On that note, Trump could be correct. First, the former president can present a constitutional challenge to the request for his communications and records. In the United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court upheld executive privilege. The court said it’s fundamental to government operation and is rooted in the separation of powers.

Furthermore, the justices ruled that policies and decision-making communications are often heated rhetoric filled with harsh language. As policymakers wrestle with real-time decisions, they are likely to communicate in a matter not suitable for public consumption. Therefore, the courts consider executive privilege necessary to the public trust.

Here’s the challenge for Trump: He’s no longer in office. Will the courts uphold executive privilege for a former president? Only the Supreme Court can ultimately decide the matter.

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