Tony Snow - Op-Ed - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 29, 1998 :
"Executive Privilege is a Dodge"
...Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.
Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.
One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.
All the usual loudmouths shouting from the other side of the fence have statements like that on the record from the Clinton Era, but Snow is the only one in the unique position of facing reporters and working for a boss pulling the same "dodge."
[via Glenn Greenwald. Read the whole thing, he breaks down the legalese better than most.]