That sounds good. And when you consider that the Privacy Act was passed to deal with overreaching by a president and his staff, you’d have every reason to suppose that it would forbid the present White House’s plan of action.

You’d be wrong, though. Courts have consistently held that the Privacy Act does not apply to the office of the president and that this was by congressional design, which it is without power to alter. In the most recent such case to my memory, Valerie Plame Wilson v. I Lewis Libby, the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reiterated that “the Act exempts the Offices of the President and Vice President from its coverage.” And “Congress did not inadvertently omit these [ offices] from the Privacy Act’s disclosure requirements.”