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History of presidential use of executive privilege

Thursday - 6/21/2012, 3:20am  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege for the first time Wednesday. He applied the presidential power to withhold documents a House committee is seeking in an investigation of a flawed gun-smuggling probe called Operation Fast and Furious.

Presidents have the right to invoke executive privilege to preserve the confidentiality of information and documents in the face of legislative inquiries. The White House says presidents have asserted that privilege 25 times since 1980.

Here's a look at how many times each president since Ronald Reagan has asserted executive privilege:

_President Barack Obama: 1

_President George W. Bush: 6

_President Bill Clinton: 14

_President George H.W. Bush: 1

_President Ronald Reagan: 3


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)