Assertion of Executive Privilege in Response to a Congressional Subpoena

Headnotes: 

Executive privilege can and should be asserted to withhold deliberative, predecisional documents from Congress, where release of the documents would seriously impair the deliberative process and the conduct of foreign policy, and where Congress’ only stated interest in obtaining the documents is for general oversight purposes.

Where Congress has a legitimate need for information that will help it legislate, and the Executive Branch has a legitimate constitutionally recognized need to keep information confidential, each branch has an obligation to make a principled effort to accommodate the needs of the other.

Updated July 9, 2014