Friday, April 13, 2007

White House Insists They Have Executive Privilege Over RNC Emails

The Republican National Committee emails are still missing, but even if they're found, the White House is claiming executive privilege over them.

Democrats in Congress are investigating whether Karl Rove and other administration officials used private email accounts run by the Republican National Committee to circumvent federal record preservation rules and avoid a paper trail. Some of these emails may be related to the Prosecutor Purge investigation.

White House counsel Fred Fielding has told Congress that since the RNC correspondence is covered by executive privilege, the emails will only be made available to investigators as part of a “carefully and thoughtfully considered package of accommodations.”

In other words, the White House gets to set the ground rules.

Dems aren't buying:

Mr. Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, issued a tart reply: “The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the R.N.C. as well. There is absolutely no basis in law or fact for such a claim.”

Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who is spearheading the Senate inquiry into the prosecutors’ dismissals, said the Fielding letter “can be summed up in three words: ‘We are stonewalling.’ ”

Josh Marshall put the White House position on the RNC emails this way:

Executive privilege doesn't just apply to conversations the president has with his top aides. It doesn't just apply to conversations his top aides have with each other. It doesn't even just apply to any presidential aides doing anything connected to the White House. Executive privilege applies to the outside political party work the president's aides do on their own time.

Remember, members of the White House staff have outside party-funded email accounts for doing political work they are not permitted to do on taxpayers' time. They do their official work with government phones, emails, blackberries, etc. But if they break the rules and do official work using outside party-funded email addresses then executive privilege covers that too.

Ahh, the magical wand of executive privilege - it covers everything!

Let's see them argue that in court.

Too bad Clinton didn't think of applying Executive Privilege to Monica's blue dress.
I was thinking the same thing. abi! Or maybe claim the stain was covered by executive privilege?
Sure - the stain itelf makes sense. Executive privilege for anything that comes out of the president's mouth - or elsewhere.
May I say "ewww..."

Funny too.
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