Biden, Trump Test Executive Privilege With Claims

The upcoming 2024 election cycle has again brought to light the ongoing debates around the power of the US president and how much independence they have from the other branches of government. One of the most contentious issues is that of executive privilege, which has garnered attention due to controversies surrounding both current President Joe Biden, as well as his predecessor, Donald Trump. Executive privilege allows presidents to withhold communications from other branches of government, giving them the freedom to speak candidly with advisers without fear of retaliation. W. Burlette Carter, a law professor at George Washington University, explained the concept of executive privilege stating that it "is designed to allow presidents the broadest freedom to speak and act in the presidency in pursuit of the public good." This power to withhold communications was recently used by President Biden in his decision to not release some documents related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The president cited executive privilege as his reasoning, leading to criticism from some lawmakers who claimed that the Biden administration was attempting to hide information. Critics have also pointed to Trump's use of executive privilege, particularly during the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump used executive privilege to block the release of documents related to the investigation, leading to accusations of obstruction of justice. While executive privilege has been recognized by the courts, it is not an all-encompassing power. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that it does not apply to criminal investigations, and that it must be balanced against the interests of other branches of government. Furthermore, executive privilege is not an absolute privilege. If a court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the president's interest in confidentiality, the president may be required to release the requested information. As the 2024 election approaches, the issue of executive privilege is likely to continue to be a contentious one. Both Democrats and Republicans may seek to limit or expand the power of the presidency, depending on their respective political agendas. Whatever the outcome, the issue of executive privilege highlights the ongoing debates around presidential power and the importance of balancing that power with oversight from other branches of government. The independence of the executive is a crucial component of the US government, but so too is the ability of other branches to hold the president accountable when necessary
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