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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Risky move: Biden undercuts WH executive privilege shield | U.S. Government and Politics

“By ratcheting up how extraordinary and extreme it is, it limits the precedent going forward,” said Jonathan Shaub, an assistant professor of law at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law and a former attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Obama administration.

But those other exceptions occurred in a pre-Trump world, during which there were clear customs and norms, and generally, one set of facts. Today, a large part of the country believes Trump’s lies that he is the rightful winner of the 2020 election, despite the evidence to the contrary, and Trump and his allies have gone to great lengths to recast the events of Jan. 6 to make the rioters out to be warrior patriots.

If history is any guide, once the door to reviewing past presidential records is ajar, future Congresses and presidents could swing it open further as politics warrant.

It’s a path followed by other Washington norms in the increasingly rancorous capital. In 2013, Democrats deployed the so-called nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster that would require 60 votes to approve most presidential appointments and nominations, but maintained it for legislation and Supreme Court picks. In 2017, when Republicans took control of Washington, they took the tactic further, and during the Trump years, they put three justices on the high court by simple majority votes.

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