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Executive privilege should be maintained for the type of information that is too sensitive to allow in the public domain. It is not -and should not be- used for covering up a merely embarrassing situation. However, the executive of a nation such as ours has to be allowed to keep certain things classified at the highest level. Our national security depends on this as do many of our interactions with foreign nations. They, too, need to know that when they are dealing with the American president concerning a sensitive topic, the information they provide will be kept confidential.
Executive privilege is important, if for no other reason, to preserve the Separation of Powers which the Framers of the Constitution deemed paramount if the government were to survive. The President is not a member of Congress, does not participate in debate, and has no vote there, as in a Parliamentary system. By the same token, the Executive must be free to perform without undue influence or interference from other branches of government. There are sufficient safeguards built into our constitutional system to prevent abuse in most instances; for instance the President must seek the approval of the Senate for all appointments; but he need not seek the approval of the legislative branch to remove appointed officials. Without executive privilege, the Executive Branch would in many respects be subservient to the other branches of government.
I think that Executive Privilege has been abused lately by presidents. It is important that the president should be unhampered to a certain extent, but the president should not be able to use it to shield himself from all responsibility. Once that happens, our careful system of checks and balances goes out the window. In American tradition, you cannot say that the president can't break the law. That is an entirely different system of government.
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