No, it's not meant to be immunity - but there's really no legal precedent for that except US v. Nixon, which was in the context of a federal criminal prosecution. There isn't any black-letter law that says the President cannot invoke privilege in an impeachment proceeding, so here's how that hypothetical scenario probably plays out:Sam the Centipede wrote: ↑Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:52 amIs that really an issue? Executive privilege is merely an acknowledgement that any executive needs room to breathe without being micro-managed and harassed by Congress or courts. It also acknowledges that not everything is perfectly pretty in the real world. It's not supposed to be any sort of signficant immunity, is it?
1) Senate subpoenas Bolton.
2) White House Counsel sends a letter to Bolton's attorney invoking privilege and commanding his client not to testify.
3) White House Counsel also sends a letter to the Senate advising them privilege is being invoked.
4) White House files suit in federal court to quash the subpoena just like McGahn, Mazars, and the Kupperman litigation.
5) Welcome to federal court. Take a number and your case will be disposed of in the order it was received. See you in two years.
6) Bolton doesn't testify, but gets to look to all the world like he really wanted to.
7) Trump is acquitted.
8) Bolton's book goes to #1 on the NYT bestseller list.
1763) The DC Circuit rules en banc in 2022 that actually executive privilege doesn't apply to impeachment trial subpoenas. SCOTUS denies certiorari. Conservatives tut-tut that future impeached Democratic presidents won't be able to hide behind privilege, and isn't that hunky-dory for the rule of law?