A former Justice Department lawyer told Fox News on Monday that Congress and courts should not be allowed to overcome executive privilege after calls this weekend by high-ranking Democrats to subpoena notes or testimony from the interpreter who was at several meetings between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
John Yoo, who has been known to be in favor of strong presidential power, said the Supreme Court in 1974 set the standard that allows-- in part-- the president to discuss foreign policy secrets with foreign nations. The court identified "the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties."
"There is no justification that Congress or another branch can throw up which allow— according to the Supreme Court— allow for the overcome of this privilege in this kind of case," he told "The Ingraham Angle."
High-ranking Democrats over the weekend hinted that they could subpoena the notes that Trump took from his own interpreter, according to The Washington Post. The notes in question were from a meeting with Putin in Hamburg in 2017.
Yoo, the Bush administration lawyer who wrote the so-called torture memos, has been critical of Trump in the past. He wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in 2017 titled, “Executive Power Run Amok.” He wrote that he had “grave concerns” about Trump’s use of presidential power on border control and slapping tariffs on imports without Congress.
Yoo said that should Congress be allowed to overcome executive privilege, it would be like stabbing a dagger into the presidency.
He said every president from George Washington "have claimed and used." President Clinton used executive privilege 14 times and President Obama used it during the "Fast and Furious" scandal.