“This resolution’s broad demand for documents conflicts with the strongest form of executive privilege recognized by the courts – the so-called ‘presidential communications privilege,’” Chairman Ed Royce said ahead of the vote. “These privileges are at their strongest when they deal with the president’s core constitutional powers, such as his authority to conduct diplomatic discussions with foreign leaders.”
Royce spoke at the opening of a hearing on a resolution directing the secretary of state to transmit to the House of Representatives copies of all documents, records, communications, transcripts, summaries, notes and memoranda from the Trump-Putin meeting.
Democratic Congressman Brendan Boyle introduced the resolution a week after the US and Russian leaders met in Helsinki, Finland.
Royce’s objections came despite his own criticism of Trump’s performance in the Helsinki summit, which he characterized as a missed opportunity to challenge Russian policy in Ukraine, Syria and allegations of Russia’s interference in US democracy – charges that Russia has repeatedly denied.
“This resolution before us today has implications far beyond our current president or our last president, Royce explained. “It is about the ability of all presidents to engage with foreign leaders.”
The resolution was ultimately quashed by a committee vote, with lawmakers split along party lines.
South Africa Today – World News – United States