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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trump's Men: we checked our privilege, and we've got lots.

A constitutional scholar of the Watergate era, Raoul Berger, wrote two books that became improbable bestsellers- in paperback even.

One was a history of impeachment.

The other was titled, Executive Privilege: A Constitutional Myth.

(I read it in high school. That's the sort of grind I was).

This past week I have learned there are forms of executive privilege Berger overlooked.

One is Izzard's Rule: you don't actually claim privilege or any legal basis for stonewalling. You just say, "I'm just not feeling like answering that, because."

The British historian and recent parliamentary candidate Eddie Izzard argues the rule arose from necessity as Britain expanded its empire:




The other new doctrine is anticipatory privilege, as articulated by the Attorney General. In his formulation, one can pretend executive privilege on the ground that if the President has not asserted it, a witness can exercise it anyway. He might in future, and getting that out of the way early saves everybody a lot of trouble.

This version is also called The Force:


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