Executive Privilege

2330 Words Nov 21st, 2012 10 Pages
Executive Privilege | | | |
Virginia Commonwealth University
November 14, 2012 | |

In the past, the power of executive privilege has been used by Presidents to conceal information that has to do with foreign affairs and negotiations, military, national security issues as well as deliberations and policy making that is done between the President and his top aides. This power is only used when Congress asks the President or one of his top aides to produce all of the information pertaining to an event or situation. If the President then feels that parts of this information needs to be kept secret to protect the best interest of the public, or the other issues listed previously, then he will use executive privilege in order
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When it comes to foreign affairs it is very important that the President has the ability to use executive privilege. For instance, if the United States was making a treaty with another country, both countries may have to give things up in order to come to an agreement, and everything considered by both sides as well as everything agreed upon should not be made public for everyone, including other countries to see. This is best stated in 1796 by George Washington after the House of Representatives requested that he give them information concerning his instructions to the United States Minister to Britain regarding the treaty negotiations between the United States and Britain. Washington replied by saying:
The nature of foreign negotiations requires caution, and their success must often depend on secrecy; and even when brought to a conclusion a full disclosure of all the measures, demands, or eventual concessions which may have been proposed or contemplated would be extremely impolitic; for this might have a pernicious influence on future negotiations, or produce immediate inconveniences, perhaps danger and mischief, in relation to other powers. The necessity of such caution and secrecy was one cogent reason for vesting the power of making treaties in the President…the boundaries fixed by the Constitution between the different departments should be preserved, a just regard to the Constitution and to the duty of my office.., forbids a compliance with your request."
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