Presidents are not kings, and the Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President is not constitutionally obliged to honor that assertion. — US District Judge Tanya Chutkan
Presidents are not kings, and the Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President is not constitutionally obliged to honor that assertion. — US District Judge Tanya Chutkan
Supreme Court's Watergate-era rulings against Nixon may end Trump's executive privilege claims
Past decisions involving assertions of executive privilege to keep documents confidential suggest Trump has a weak case, even if heard by this increasingly conservative high court, with three Trump appointees on the nine-member bench.

"The privilege is not for the benefit of the President as an individual, but for the benefit of the Republic," the Supreme Court declared in a 1977 touchstone decision involving former President Richard Nixon.

More recently, the justices last year expressed concerns that congressional demands for presidential documents could arise from "impermissible purposes," such as to harass a president, and interfere with his official duties. In this new case, however, any possible distraction from duties dissolves because Trump no longer holds office.

In a decision late Tuesday, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan cited Supreme Court precedent as she ruled against Trump's effort to obtain an injunction to stop the National Archives from releasing records sought by a US House of Representatives select committee investigating January 6. She noted the unprecedented legal situation: "a former President asserts executive privilege over records for which the sitting President has refused to assert executive privilege."

"At bottom, this is a dispute between a former and incumbent President," she wrote in her 39-page opinion. "And the Supreme Court has already made clear that in such circumstances, the incumbent's view is accorded greater weight."

Chutkan brushed away Trump's argument that he retains control of the privilege, declaring, "Presidents are not kings, and the Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President is not constitutionally obliged to honor that assertion."

... Irrespective of past Supreme Court action on presidential powers, Chutkan, as she chronicled Trump's false election claims, recalled the strained relations between the former President and the court. She observed that the justices had spurned Trump's voter fraud arguments in 2020.

Wrote Chutkan: "The United States Supreme Court also denied numerous emergency applications aimed at overturning the results. In response, Plaintiff tweeted that the Court was 'totally incompetent and weak on the massive Election Fraud that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election.' "
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/11/politics/trump-nixon-supreme-court-analysis-biskupic/index.html