Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigation, noted that there have not been many judicial opinions concerning struggles between the legislative and executive branches over congressional oversight requests and that in most cases the two sides resolve the dispute outside of the courtroom.
Sharman also said executive power has generally increased over the last several decades, apart from a handful of what he termed “retreats” of presidential authority.
“The few occasions in … the last 50, 60, 70 years when executive power ended up being weakened was when there were some of the more extreme assertions of it,” Sharman said. “So, for example, President Nixon actually did a lot of damage to executive authority, which then shortly thereafter even beginning with President Carter, certainly started to begin with President Reagan, started to build this stuff up again.”
“Just as I would advise members of Congress to be careful what you wish for, I think the same [advice] goes to the president as well,” Sharman added.
We have addressed other executive privilege issues here.