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

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 During those breaks, Bannon’s lawyer, William Burck, called the White House to ask whether Bannon could answer certain questions considering that President Donald Trump might later assert executive privilege over their conversations. Time, "Steve Bannon Refuses to Answer Some Questions From House Russia Probe," 15 Feb. 2018 Presidents frequently assert executive privilege, their right to refuse demands for information about internal executive branch dealings, but its limits are murky and mostly untested. New York Times, "Trump’s Lawyers, in Confidential Memo, Argue to Head Off a Historic Subpoena," 2 June 2018 Flood's job was to help Jennings and Paoletta decide when not to answer and assert executive privilege, the ability of a president to keep certain conversations and documents private. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, "Giuliani media blitz, legal team's reshuffle hint at new Trump strategy," 5 May 2018 Bush invoked executive privilege to defend his decision. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The man who may be asked to fire Robert Mueller has been arguing that the president has broad firing powers," 17 Apr. 2018 The Dowd-Sekulow memo also raises questions of executive privilege, but approaches them differently than Nixon did. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "United States v. Trump," 6 June 2018 The author, then-Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dixon Jr., flagged some other quirks: unlike other defendants, the president could invoke executive privilege and has the pardon power. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Can the president be indicted or subpoenaed?," 22 May 2018 In the 1974 case of US v. Nixon, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected executive privilege in a ruling that triggered the culmination of the Watergate scandal. Joan Biskupic, CNN, "What Nixon and Clinton's Supreme Court cases mean for Trump's options on executive privilege," 2 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

27 Sep 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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