The Nation: Privilege and the President

IN his latest challenge to Congress, President Nixon has taken a far-out position on the question of Executive privilege. There is little in the law to support him—or not to support him. The Constitution makes no mention of the doctrine, which is a matter of tradition. The President argues that his Administration has been responsive to congressional probes, citing the fact that former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird testified before Congress 86 times. At the same time, Nixon has decreed that none of his 100-member White House staff will appear before Congress under any circumstances, now or ever. Once they...

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