Trump and Executive Privilege

Does anyone else find it funny that Trump had to ask Biden, AS PRESIDENT, to extend executive privilege to him?

I hope that Biden’s response was “Dude! You don’t even think I was elected legitimately. I’m not giving you shit.”

Funny in the sense of “What a moron, to think that he could assert executive privilege when he’s not actually IN office.”

The way I’ve read it is that executive privilege as a concept, adheres to the office, not the person. So the sitting President is the one who can decide whether or not something qualifies under executive privilege, regardless of who was President when whatever it is went down.

Exactly. Which means that Trump had to accept that Biden was the sitting president in order to ask for it.

That, and in a decision about Nixon’s papers, the Supreme Court said that executive privilege was for the benefit of the Republic, not for the benefit of the individual.

So it seems doubly… ironic(?- certainly astoundingly ballsy) that Trump would be asking Biden to assert executive privilege for anything pertaining to 1/6/2021.

Trump accepted that when he few off before the inauguration. What he hasn’t and won’t accept is that Biden won legitimately.

And Biden has a quandary. As president, he wants to keep the executive privilege, but it must gall him to use it to protect Trump. Probably, he will assert it but only with respect to conversations between WH staffers and the president. Bannon, for example, left the WH far too early for any conversation with the president to be relevant to Jan. 6. That is the way I would handle the situation if I were president.

It was reported yesterday that Biden had already formally rejected the executive privilege claim. And if I’m reading the article correctly the actual decision was made last week.

Can’t you just imagine the response if Obama had asked Trump for the same thing?

(Not that Obama would have ever had any reason to, but still.)

First and foremost fuck Trump, but in a larger context I think there is an argument to be made that executive privilege should extend beyond the presidential term.

The purpose of executive privilege is that you want the president to be able to have candid conversations with their staff without having to censor everything they say for political considerations. So his political adviser can say to him “despite what AOC thinks, free college tuition ain’t never gonna happen. We should quit chasing that pipe dream and get the votes for the infrastructure bill. We can mollify the squad by saying we’re looking into it.” without fear that this email will get subpoenaed and the Republicans will use it to split the party.

These political consideration extend beyond the presidents term, so if his advisers know that the privilege ends at the end of the administration, the president isn’t going to get a free exchange of ideas.

However, the Supreme court first legitimized this concept by deciding that it did not apply to cases of criminal activity (an actual literal example of the exception proving the rule). So even if we accept that the privilege should be allowed to extend in general it doesn’t apply to this specific case.

I agree with you when the president is an obvious criminal, used the office for criminal ends, and attempted a coup, then I think that has to change the calculus. I think an advisor should be concerned that it will come to light if they are giving advice to the president either to do or support a criminal action. That’s a good thing.

Of course, you know the Republicans will, going forward, make everything available no matter what because that’s just who they are, and claim “Well, Biden did it.” Ignoring of course, all the legitimate reasons why Trump’s material should not be protected.

(edited to make it more clear I’m agreeing with Buck_Godot)

This was my exact point in the final paragraph of my post.

I was agreeing with you. :slight_smile: (I guess that wasn’t clear)

You know, I’d be pretty okay with that trade off. Fine, let’s publish everything the “Other Guy’s President” did in office (that doesn’t actually compromise national security). How many iterations of “Democrats disagree on policy and use of political capital” vs. “Republicans engage in actual treason” do you think it would take before the average voter notices the glaring differences?

Yes. Democrats want more transparency, not less.

It’s like the Republicans who “threaten” that because Democrats are prosecuting Republicans who committed crimes, they’ll start prosecuting Democrats who committed crimes. Completely missing that Democrats are in favor of prosecuting everyone who committed crimes.

Republicans are so convinced of the “both sides do it” transactionalism that they forget that some people actually have principles.

77 quadrillion, give or take.

Sadly, I think this is true.

Trump is an obvious criminal.
Approximately 47% of voters voted for him.

Trump attempted a coup.
He stands a very good chance of being president in 2024.

There is no low to which the Republicans can fall where they will not capture their voters. They either don’t care, believe the right-wing lies, or actively want a one-party (Republican) state.