Executive Privilege Law and Legal Definition

Executive privilege is a privilege held by members of the executive branch of federal governement not to disclose confidential communications that would impair governmental functions. It may be asserted by the President or other executive branch officials when they refuse to give Congress, the courts, or private parties information or records which have been requested or subpoenaed, or when they order government witnesses not to testify before Congress. The privilege may be overridden by interests of the "fundamental demands of due process of law and in the fair administration of criminal justice". 418 U.S. 713.