Presidents can assert executive privilege to prevent government employees from sharing information. Presidents as far back as George Washington have used a form of the principle, though the term was not used until Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office, says Rozell, who also points out that some presidents have attempted to use the principle "to hide wrongdoing or politically embarrassing information".
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The White House had weighed claiming executive privilege to keep his former Federal Bureau of Investigation director from testifying about personal conversations he had with the President, which could have scuttled Comey's Thursday testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. On Monday, the White House made the announcement of the decision, both via a statement and an answer to the opening question of the daily White House Press Briefing.
President Donald Trump will not use executive privilege to try to block former FBI Director James Comey's Senate testimony this week, the White House said Monday. In short: An assertion of executive privilege here would have been unlikely to have held up in court. The American University professor said Trump's history of "avoiding accountability" through his business career make it likely that Trump will simply resign to avoid accountability again.
Comey associates have alleged that Trump asked the FBI director if he could drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his Russian contacts.
Burr also told CNN that "former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn, a focus of the Russian Federation probe, had turned over some of the documents to the Senate intelligence committee in response to a subpoena they issued last month".