Trump Case Could Come Back To Bite Biden

( The Biden administration’s decision to order the release of President Trump’s records to the January 6 select committee might just be one order the White House winds up regretting.

Some critics had cautioned that a sitting president undermining the executive privilege of his predecessor could have ramifications that come back to bite that president in the end. And while a 3-judge panel for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals granted President Trump a last-minute injunction stopping the release of these records, this case is far from over.

Legal experts believe that this fight over executive privilege is bound to end up at the Supreme Court making the implications of this current battle significant, no matter which side wins.

As University of Illinois Chicago Law School professor Steven D. Schwinn explained, while Joe Biden is the current guardian of the executive branch, at some point, he’s not going to be president. And the precedent Biden sets now is one a future president may deploy on Joe Biden.

The premise behind executive privilege is that a president needs to be able to receive unvarnished advice while in office. But if aides believe what they say will be publicly revealed, they might self-censor rather than present open, honest advice.

Executive privilege isn’t absolute, nor does it last forever. Past presidents lose the ability to invoke executive privilege once they’ve been out of office for twelve years.

In this particular case, the motivation to ignore executive privilege appears to be largely political. When Judge Tanya Chutkan initially ruled against President Trump last Tuesday, she declared that the current president is not constitutionally obligated to honor the previous president’s wishes when it comes to executive privilege. That determination smacked of partisan weaponization.

And if her ruling stands, nothing would stop the next president from flinging aside executive privilege on Joe Biden and making public whatever he likes. All that president would need is a Republican majority in the House deciding to “investigate” Biden under the pretense of “creating new legislation” and the Republican President could go to town.