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History of Refusals by Executive Branch Officials toProvide Information Demanded by Congress (PART II—Invocations of Executive Privilege by Executive Officials)


The following two memoranda, prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel at the request of the Attorney General, describe instances since the founding of the Republic in which officials in the Executive Branch have refused to disclose information or produce documents requested by Congress. The first memorandum, dated December 14, 1982, sets forth examples of situations in which a President has personally directed that information be withheld, relying on the doctrine of executive privilege. The second memorandum, dated January 27, 1983, documents incidents where the Attorney General or some other executive official refused to provide information or documents to Congress in situations involving law enforcement, security, or personnel investigations. . . .

Updated July 9, 2014