The Administration, after consultation with the Department of Justice, has
S. 1668 is unconstitutional. If the bill is presented to the President in
its present form, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he
veto the bill.
S. 1668 would require the President to inform certain Federal employees and
contractors that disclosure to Congress of specified categories of
information, including classified information, "is not prohibited by law,
executive order, or regulation or otherwise contrary to public policy."
This provision is clearly contrary to the Supreme Court's explicit
recognition of the President's constitutional authority to protect national
security and other privileged information. Congress may not vest
lower-ranking personnel in the Executive branch with a "right" to furnish
national security or other privileged information to a member of Congress
without receiving official authorization to do so. By seeking to divest
the President of his authority over the disclosure of such information, S.
1668 would unconstitutionally infringe upon the President's constitutional
authority. We believe that existing congressional oversight mechanisms, as
well as inspector general statutes, have proven effective in bringing
instances of illegality, fraud, waste, and abuse to the attention of
Executive branch managers and congressional committees.