One of the hearings today on Capitol Hill was with former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. This was another Big Lie/January 6th hearing. And Rosen caught a lot of grief for refusing to discuss what happened during his January 3rd meeting with President Trump. Rosen seemed to be hinting at assertions of privilege but wouldn’t quite say why he was refusing. A logical read is that Rosen – who after all got the acting gig because Trump thought he was reliable – was still covering for Trump. But it’s not the only possible explanation, nor the most interesting one.
Let’s recall that ex-Presidents have zero privileges to assert as President. They still have lawyer-client privilege for communications in their personal capacity during their presidency. But they have zero power to assert any of the privileges unique to presidents. Only the current President can do that, i.e., Joe Biden. In practice, President’s have long deferred to former Presidents in decisions over privilege for a variety of reasons. But it is entirely the current President’s call. Rosen said he was operating under the guidance of the current DOJ. So let’s pull that thread and see where it might lead.