Reading Room Document
Executive Privilege - Reagan Memorandum
This set of memoranda, written by Ted Olson, provided the proposed Reagan administration position on the invocation of executive privilege. In the memos, Olson pointed to three problems with congressional demands for information: “(a) belligerence on the part of some members of Congress; (b) a lack of Executive Branch coordination; and (c) a lack of clear rules to guide decision.” Olson pointed to the Nixon administration’s position as a starting point, but suggested that the Reagan administration may wish to go further to discourage voluntary compliance with demands for information on the part of executive agencies, and to remove the requirement of the president’s personal involvement with the invocation of the privilege.
The OLC's Opinions
Opinions published by the OLC, including those released in response to our FOIA lawsuit