Privilege Invocation Has GOP Up in Arms

By Sammon, Bill | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 22, 1998 | Go to article overview

Privilege Invocation Has GOP Up in Arms


Sammon, Bill, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


****SOME REPUBLICANS SEE THE PRESIDENT'S LIKELY GAMBIT AS MOVING HIM CLOSER TO IMPEACHMENT.****

President Clinton's decision to formally invoke executive privilege in the White House sex-and-lies scandal makes him the first president since Richard Nixon to fight a criminal prosecution by refusing to reveal his closest secrets.

The high-stakes gambit drew denunciations yesterday from some Republicans, who said it brings Mr. Clinton one step closer to impeachment proceedings.

"Perhaps for the first time, they've taken a step that really smacks of Watergate," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican. "It certainly looks bad - like there's something serious there that they're trying to hide."

The president is said to have decided to invoke the privilege, but it is not clear if he already has done so.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Mr. Clinton's attempt to prevent his closest aides from testifying about certain conversations with the president demonstrates the seriousness of the scandal.

"There's something terribly wrong here," said the Utah Republican. "You cannot invoke executive privilege to hide a crime or criminal activity."

Mr. Hatch and others doubted the legal merits of the move, which they characterized as a desperate attempt to stall the investigation of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr.

"This is a huge step," said Peter Schramm, executive director of the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University in Ohio. "I mean, invoking executive privilege is a massive legal and political act that's full of implications.

"For one thing, during the Nixon era, when this was invoked, the implications of it politically were clear - there was something to hide, something other than national security," Mr. Schramm said. "The reason that it's ultimately unjustified in this case, it seems to me, is the exact same reason it was not justified in the Nixon case, which is that this has to do with a criminal proceeding.

"The president has no right to invoke it - according to the court in the Nixon decision - in the case of a criminal proceeding. Furthermore, they can't possibly invoke it on national security grounds."

Mr. Clinton has been considering for more than a month whether to take the politically risky step of claiming executive privilege in order to shield aides such as Bruce Lindsey, Sidney Blumenthal and John Podesta from revealing presidential conversations before a federal grand jury investigating the scandal.

In recent days, he decided to invoke the privilege, although it was not clear yesterday whether he actually signed the formal assertion.

"They've made a decision to assert it," said a source close to the case. "Whether they've actually signed the piece of paper, it's really just semantics."

White House spokesman James Kennedy would not confirm whether Mr. Clinton has formally invoked executive privilege.

Former White House counsel Lanny Davis defended the president's latest defense.

"The analogy to Richard Nixon is far fetched," Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Privilege Invocation Has GOP Up in Arms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.