CNN Suing The White House

Frederick Owens
November 14, 2018

"The First Amendment protects 'robust political debate, ' including speech that is critical of those who hold political office", CNN's attorney Ted Olson, a veteran Supreme Court litigator, said in a statement.

The White House appears to have backtracked on the reason why it barred CNN's Jim Acosta, after the news network filed a lawsuit demanding the return of his press credentials. "We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN's and Jim Acosta's lawsuit based on these principles".

"Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized", Wallace said in a statement.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the lawsuit "just more grandstanding from CNN". Trump barked at Acosta, "I tell you what: CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them".

CNN says it has asked the court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Acosta and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.

A White House intern then approached him to try to take the microphone away from him.

The filing ratchets up the dispute between the news media and Trump, who has repeatedly denigrated reporters who question his actions, focusing his ire on CNN.

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The revocation of Acosta's press credential has raised the tension between the White House and reporters.

"It would be bad for the public, and for our democracy, if reporters questioning the president had to operate under an ever-present threat of this kind of retaliation", said the institute's executive director Jameel Jaffer. "And he has seized it with the communication channel, with the tweeting and the rallies and the press conferences", the longtime reporter told CNN's Jake Tapper. "And where, as here, the White House has determined that it wants to scale back its interactions with a particular journalist, denying that journalist a hard pass is a permissible way to accomplish that goal".

"The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process", CNN said in a press release.

Earlier Wednesday, Fox News President Jay Wallace issued a statement about the situation. "But with the White House drawing the line in the sand, prompting CNN to file the suit, other news organizations feel like they have to stand up for the journalistic principle". Acosta's "hard pass" - which allows expedited access to the White House - was revoked hours later.

In a brief filed Wednesday, the White House said President Trump has "broad discretion" to regulate journalists' access.

Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, separately expressed his support for the action Tuesday night.

The White House Correspondents' Association is also backing CNN. "The President of the United States should not be in the business of arbitrarily picking the men and women who cover him".

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