What can one say about executive privilege except that is it crap. You cannot hide behind the line that the President's advisors have to feel free to give him advise and that if they are questioned about that advise they would feel hindered in telling the President what (s)he needs to know. Well, if that advise is to do something legal or illegal should not make a difference. Ultimately, the person asking for that advise must decide if they will follow it. As Pres. Bush said "I'm the decider". Advise is advise and not always wise. You cannot send someone to jail for giving bad advise. You can send someone to jail for breaking the law.
Open hearings become necessary to determine if the advise given and subsequent discussions are part of a cover up of illegal activities. Furthermore, all government officials swear an oath on taking their posts. Therefore, no government official has to swear an oath before Congress. They are already under oath.
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