CNN Suing The White House
CNN Going To Court Over Banned White House Correspondent
A US federal judge says he will hold a hearing on CNN's lawsuit against the Trump administration seeking the speedy reinstatement of press credentials for White House correspondent Jim Acosta, a frequent target of President Donald Trump.
In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday in US District Court in Washington, the cable news network said the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial process. The network asked for a temporary restraining order.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, dismissed the action as "just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit".
The White House revoked Acosta's credentials last week in an escalation of the Republican president's attacks on the news media, which he has dubbed the "enemy of the people".
CNN, and Acosta in particular, have been regular targets of the president.
The day after the November 6 congressional elections, Trump erupted into anger during a news conference when Acosta questioned him about the Russia probe and a migrant caravan travelling through Mexico.
"That's enough, that's enough," Trump told Acosta last Wednesday, as a White House intern attempted to take the microphone away from the correspondent.
"You are a rude, terrible person."
The White House suspended his credentials later that day, with Sanders alleging that Acosta had put his hands on the intern who was trying to take the microphone from him.
Videos of the encounter show Acosta pulling back as the intern moved to take the microphone.
"While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone," CNN said in a statement.
"If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials."
The lawsuit noted that Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday there "could be others also".
Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for CNN and Acosta, said the White House was punishing Acosta for the contents of his reporting. "
The White House cannot be permitted to cast out and punish reporters with whom it disagrees," CNN said in its court filing.