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Executive Privilege

Providing primary and secondary source material such as government documents from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, this database explores executive privilege from the country's founding to the present day.

Using the Database

Browsing Content

Use the custom index to browse documents by Title, Author, Branch, Controversy, Administration, or Privilege.

Note: some documents may not be viewable by all fields, ex: some documents may not have a specific privilege cited by the President.

Use the drop-down boxes to search the full text or by creator/author, title, and administration.

Executive privilege index

Titles are displayed with their corresponding Administration and Author directly below the title listing. Interested in jumping from a title into its associated presidential administration? We've hyperlinked these two fields for easy navigation.


Want to see all documents associated with Thomas Jefferson's invocation of executive privilege during Aaron Burr's treason trial? Jump over to the Controversy view and select Burr Conspiracy. Find documents associated with other famous and infamous moments in presidential history grouped here.

Controversy example

Build a Search

The executive privilege index allows users to build a search using keywords, a document's title, its creator/author, and the associated presidential administration. Access this index both from the Documents tab and the Advanced Search link under the main search bar inside the collection.

Need a refresher on how to construct a perfect search? Click Search Help for a quick reference guide to commonly used search syntax.

Search options in index


Searching Example

Search text for whitewater and fill in Clinton in the administration field for six results related to President Clinton's invocation of executive privilege against Senate subpoenas in the Whitewater investigation.

Search results

Searching for something and have a few too many results? Use the facets on the left to narrow down what you're seeing.

Don't like how results are displaying? Sort search results by relevance, volume date, or title, or use the icons next to the sort-by bar to modify your current search, search within results, print the results page, or turn OFF infinite scroll.

Found the perfect document? Grab a PDF, email it to a colleague, or save it to your MyHein account.