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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Justice's opinion on the U.S. Archivist's regulations regarding former President Nixon's historical materials. GAO noted the Justice conclusion that the Archivist must accept without challenge any claim of executive privilege asserted by the former President. GAO found that the opinion was: (1) inconsistent with the Archivist's regulations; (2) contrary to the Archivist's statutory responsibilities; and (3) inconsistent with past practices. GAO questioned whether Justice will permit the Archivist to fully exercise his responsibilities with respect to future former Presidents' materials.

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