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The Daily BeastOct 24, 2021
How George Washington's Idea of Executive Privilege Got Mangled
Getty ImagesIn plain language, President Joe Biden rejected former President Donald Trump's assertion of executive privilege over executive branch information pertaining to the Jan. 6 insurrection. In a letter to the archivist of the United States, White House counsel shared that executive privilege "is not in the best interests" of the country. The White House's interpretation is consistent with the first use of executive privilege by George Washington and the powerful precedent that he established in 1796. This limited scope of executive privilege, and the inherit right of congressional oversight, is a welcome step toward a more balanced government.

The words "executive privilege" do not exist in the Constitution, nor is there a right to presidential privacy articulated in the original document. Yet, as presidential authority expanded over the course of the 20th century, so too did presidents' assertion of executive privilege—all without additional legislation, statute, or constitutional amendment defining this right. Instead, the president's authority to keep certain information private stems from precedent, custom, and norms.

On March 30, 1796, President George Washington asserted executive privilege for the first time. A few days prior, Jeffersonian Republicans in the House of Representatives had requested all executive papers pertaining to the Jay Treaty. John Jay had ne

The Daily BeastOct 22, 2021
Virginia Guv Hopeful Glenn Youngkin Plays Footsie With the Far Right
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyAn event listing for the Virginia Tea Party's "Backlash to Socialism" summit makes no mention of Glenn Youngkin. The aspiring governor is absent from a photo gallery of the event, and there's not a peep about it on his Facebook page, where he posted pictures from a different event that same day.

But Youngkin recorded an address that played at the event, which was sponsored by the far-right John Birch Society and featured a keynote speaker who went on a conspiratorial diatribe about supposed communist infiltration, according to videos reviewed by The Daily Beast.

Youngkin, Virginia's Republican gubernatorial nominee, is running a tight race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. In a bid to flip the democratically held office, Youngkin has pitched himself to the state's moderates and independents, and maintained a careful distance from the GOP's more extreme voices. But Youngkin's path to victory also requires support from Donald Trump's base—and video from the June 26 Tea Party event suggests that Youngkin is privately comfortable courting more fringe votes.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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