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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Children of Privilege

Here's a good question for Peter. Maybe he can do better than vaguely cite "ample case law":

Q What's the case law that establishes attorney-client privilege for the work of the Solicitor General's Office?

MR. McCLELLAN: There is ample case law that is available that --

Q Specifically.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- talks about the importance of government attorneys having attorney-client privilege. And I'll be glad to provide you that information. There is ample case law available.

And here's another one:

Q Does the solicitor general work for the people or the President?

MR. McCLELLAN: The solicitor general represents the U.S. government in issues. And so they are the attorney for the U.S. government.

Now, I may be wrong. But aren't Senators part of "the U.S. government"?

So under McClellan's description of the attorney-client relationship, don't Senators have a right to see these documents? [Peter: that was a tongue-in-cheek question -- McClellan didn't even bother to say "the Executive branch"!]

Update: The excerpts are from today's Press Briefing, by the way.


Anonymous Bu$h Ate My Baby said...


As soon as you introduce executive versus legislative (e.g. Senate), you introduce an entirely different legal concept -- separation of powers. So maybe for now the question should be limited to who holds (or should hold) the privilege, which was the thrust of your last post.

If you are really seeking an honest inquiry into the question of who holds the privilege, here's an interesting-looking article:


I can see if I can find more articles on the subject.

As for the McClellan exchange, beats me. I could do some Westlaw research if I still worked at a law firm, but I don't any more. But I can see what I can dig up for you.

7/26/2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger Jonah B. Gelbach said...


first, thanks for the article, which i'm going to check out.

second, why wouldn't i be

really seeking an honest inquiry into the question of who holds the privilege?

what do you think i am, a WH staffer?

7/28/2005 10:21 AM  

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