What are Executive Privileges?
Executive privilege is the power of the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch of the United States Government to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government in pursuit of information or personnel relating to the executive branch. The power of Congress or the federal courts to obtain such information is not mentioned explicitly in the United States Constitution, nor is there any explicit mention in the Constitution of an executive privilege to resist such requests from Congress or courts. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled this privilege may qualify as an element of the separation of powers doctrine, derived from the supremacy of the executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.
The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon in the context of a subpoena emanating from the judiciary, instead of emanating from Congress. The Court held that there is a qualified privilege, which can be invoked and thereby creates a presumption of privilege, and the party seeking the documents must then make a “sufficient showing” that the “Presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case” (418 U.S. at 713–14). Chief Justice Warren Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch’s national security concerns. Regarding requests from Congress (instead of from courts) for executive branch information, as of a 2014 study by the Congressional Research Service, only two federal court cases had addressed the merits of executive privilege in such a context, and neither of those cases reached the Supreme Court!
So what does this have to do with Jeff Sessions?
Former FBI Director James B. Comey told senators at a closed-door briefing that the FBI was examining whether Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions had a third, undisclosed discussion with a senior Russian diplomat at a Washington hotel last year.
The information indicated that Sessions may have had a private encounter with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, on the sidelines of a campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27, 2016, when Sessions was a U.S. senator from Alabama, according to an U.S. official familiar with the briefing.
Comey described the unverified intelligence in a classified session shortly after he had told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he was “aware of facts” about Sessions that he could not discuss in public.
A Justice Department spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, denied that Sessions had spoken to the Russian envoy at the hotel.
“The then-Senator did not have any private or side conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel,” she said in a statement.
HERES THE BIGGER QUESTION:
Why the Fuck does it Matter?
Even more importantly, why hasn’t President Trump shut this circus down?
SHUT IT DOWN & GET BACK TO BUSINESS!!!