Executive Order 12667 -- Presidential Records
By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of Executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this Order:
``Archivist'' refers to the Archivist of the
(c) ``Presidential Records Act'' refers to the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95 - 591, 92 Stat. 2523 - 27, as amended by Pub. L. No. 98 - 497, 98 Stat. 2287), codified at 44 U.S.C. 2201 - 2207.
``Presidential records'' refers to those documentary materials maintained by
(f) ``Former President'' refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.
A ``substantial question of Executive privilege'' exists if
(h) A ``final court order'' is a court order from which no appeal may be taken.
Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records.
When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of
his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the
Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former
Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the
Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that
time period the Archivist has received a claim of Executive privilege by the
incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the
incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period. If a shorter
time period is required under the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of
Sec. 3. Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President.
(a) Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Attorney General (directly or through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel) and the Counsel to the President shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the Archivist, and such other Federal agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of Executive privilege is justified.
(b) The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, may jointly determine that invocation of Executive privilege is not justified. The Archivist shall be promptly notified of any such determination.
(c) If after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, either the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President believes that the circumstances justify invocation of Executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the President by the Counsel to the President and the Attorney General.
(d) If the President decides to invoke Executive privilege, the Counsel to the President shall notify the former President, the Archivist, and the Attorney General in writing of the claim of privilege and the specific Presidential records to which it relates. After receiving such notice, the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order.
Sec. 4. Claim of Executive Privilege by Former President.
(a) Upon receipt of a claim of Executive privilege by a former President, the Archivist shall consult with the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel), the Counsel to the President, and such other Federal agencies as he deems appropriate concerning the Archivist's determination as to whether to honor the former President's claim of privilege or instead to disclose the Presidential records notwithstanding the claim of privilege. Any determination under section 3 of this Order that Executive privilege shall not be invoked by the incumbent President shall not prejudice the Archivist's determination with respect to the former President's claim of privilege.
In making the determination referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the
Archivist shall abide by any instructions given him by the incumbent President
or his designee unless otherwise directed by a final court order. The Archivist
shall notify the incumbent and former Presidents of his determination at least
30 days prior to disclosure of the Presidential records,
unless a shorter time period is required in the circumstances set forth in
section 1270.44 of the
Sec. 5. Judicial Review.
This Order is intended only to improve the internal management of the Executive
branch and is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or
procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the
The White House,
[Filed with the Office
of the Federal Register, ,