In refusing the subpoena, Clinton's lawyers also expressed their view that the meeting notes were protected by "executive privilege," a legal argument first advanced, unsuccessfully, by President Nixon during the congressional Watergate investigation. Executive privilege argues that releasing the information would interfere with the ability of a president to do his job. TIME's Adam Cohen says the courts have made few decisions about the legality of this doctrine: "The irony here is that President Clinton is invoking this privilege, since it's the Democrats and Liberals who have traditionally been skeptical of executive privilege. And there is something troubling about a president saying 'by virtue of my office, I'm at least a little bit above the law.' That said, there is a considerable precedent for the courts allowing a number of other special privileges, such as attorney-client and priest-penitent." Cohen says Clinton's lawyers were probably only covering all the bases by also citing executive privilege: "Often in legal papers, people make every argument they think is relevant, just in case their first argument, which they feel is their strongest point, is rejected."