executive privilege


Definition of executive privilege 

: exemption from legally enforced disclosure of communications within the executive branch of government when such disclosure would adversely affect the functions and decision-making processes of the executive branch

Examples of executive privilege in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

President Donald Trump has claimed executive privilege to prevent release of more than 101,921 pages of records from Kavanaugh’s tenure in the White House. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Hours before Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Bush lawyer releases 42,000 pages of documents to Judiciary Committee," 4 Sep. 2018 In a 1999 panel discussion with Bill Clinton’s defense team, Mr. Kavanaugh pointed out that the executive privilege arguments used by President Clinton were similar to those used by Nixon in the tapes case. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Tricky Dick Schumer," 24 July 2018 The 57-year-old boil on the backside of American politics will never have to worry about going to jail because the president has used his executive privilege to free him from those restraints. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Trump to Give Full Pardon to Satan’s Favorite Author, Dinesh D’Souza," 31 May 2018 Further, executive privilege claims generally are weakest in cases of investigations of allegations of wrongdoing. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Hope Hicks’s evasiveness highlights how far Trump is pushing the envelope on executive privilege," 28 Feb. 2018 The White House, citing executive privilege, is withholding more than 100,000 pages of records related to Kavanaugh from his time as a lawyer in the administration of former President George W. Bush. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Summer’s over! These are the big stories we’re following.," 4 Sep. 2018 Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton fought extensive legal battles with prosecutors over executive privilege. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Waives the Privilege," 19 Aug. 2018 Democrats have countered that only the president can assert executive privilege, and Trump hasn’t done so. Billy House, Bloomberg.com, "White House Lawyer Asked Bannon to Cite Privilege," 18 Jan. 2018 This is not a privilege in the sense of executive privilege unique to the president. NBC News, "High hurdles for Stormy Daniels' defamation suit against Trump," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'executive privilege.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of executive privilege

1909, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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The first known use of executive privilege was in 1909

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More Definitions for executive privilege

executive privilege

Legal Definition of executive privilege 

see privilege sense 1b

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