On Friday November 16th, the White House sent CNN correspondent, Jim Acosta, a formal letter stating that once the restraining order expires, they will be revoking his hard pass again. The letter was signed by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine.
Monday morning, the White House issued a new warning that they can revoke Jim Acosta’s hard pass again in the ending of the month.
Sanders sent an email where Acosta was notified of the new rules going forward. See below for screenshots of the email that was sent out.
CNN’s Communications account today tweeted, “Today the @WhiteHouse fully restored @Acosta’s press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House.”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 19, 2018
In response to the White House, CNN is requesting an emergency hearing at the U.S. District Court.
CNN stated on sunday, “The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution.” “These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”
According to Monday’s filling, CNN and Acosta are seeking a preliminary injunction for the week of November 26, 2018. This injunction could be in effect for much longer than the White House wishes, and it will protect Acosta’s access to the White House. The legal team is expected back in court this week to discuss further proceedings.
CNN filed a lawsuit against President Trump after a press conference incident last week against Chief White House correspondent Acosta. The White House accused Acosta of aggressively handling an intern who was trying to take a microphone away from him during the press conference the president a question.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.
According to CNN,“both CNN and Acosta are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. There are six defendants: Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, Secret Service director Joseph Clancy, and the Secret Service officer who took Acosta’s hard pass away last Wednesday. The officer is identified as John Doe in the suit, pending his identification.”
The suit seeks the return of Acosta’s White House credentials, claiming the revocation of his pass violates CNN and Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights.
The White House Correspondents’ Association said in a statement that it “strongly supports CNN’s goal of seeing their correspondent regain a US Secret Service security credential that the White House should not have taken away in the first place.”
On Wednesday night, Acosta learned that his hard pass was revoked when walking to the northwest side of the White House. A Secret Service officer told him to hand over his pass.
The US Secret Service just asked for my credential to enter the WH. As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. I know he’s just doing his job. (Sorry this video is not rightside up) pic.twitter.com/juQeuj3B9R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
Other CNN White House Correspondents continue to work, while Acosta is unable to ask questions or attend events.
Attorney Floyd Abrams, one of the country’s most respected First Amendment lawyers, said the relevant precedent is a 1977 ruling in favor of Robert Sherrill, a muckraking journalist who was denied access to the White House in 1966.
Eleven years later, a D.C. Court of Appeals judge ruled that the Secret Service had to establish “narrow and specific” standards for judging applicants.
Instances of news organizations suing a president are extremely rare, according to experts.
Past examples are The New York Times v. U.S., the famous Supreme Court case involving the Pentagon Papers in 1971, and CNN’s 1981 case against the White House and the broadcast networks, when CNN sued to be included in the White House press pool.
On Friday, CNN won the legal suit allowed the White House to reinstate Jim Acosta’s hard pass. More than a dozen of news outlets supported CNN and it’s suit. Many of which was Fox News. Fox News went on to say, “Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized,” according to CNN.
The list included, “The Associated Press, Bloomberg, First Look Media, Gannett, NBC News, The New York Times, Politico, USA Today, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Press Freedom Defense Fund, and the E.W. Scripps Company” just to name a few who supported CNN.
Jim Acosta went back to the White House on Friday and received his hard pass that was taken away by Secret Service just a few days ago.
In a statement by CNN said, “We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
“Today, a major precedent was set for the future of a free press. It is a win for one reporter, but most importantly a win for the Constitution and the enduring freedoms it grants us all,” the Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection said.
And the ACLU said, “the White House surely hoped that expelling a reporter would deter forceful questioning, but the court’s ruling will have the opposite effect.”
Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled on grounds for the Fifth Amendment. He stated that Acosta’s rights to due process was violated.
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