CNN is firing back after chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass was suspended last week. The news publication filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and several White House aides on Tuesday morning, reported CNN.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., claims that Acosta and CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the suspension of the pass and names six defendants in the case: President Donald 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 is responsible for denying Acosta entrance into the White House. Acosta and CNN are both named as the plaintiffs.
The reporter was stripped of his “hard pass,” effectively banning him from the White House after he was accused of acting inappropriately during a news conference. During the presidential news conference, Acosta fired a series of questions at Trump that led to a confrontation between the two.
After Trump ordered an intern to remove the microphone from Acosta’s hand, Acosta resisted, leading some to claim that the reporter had accosted the intern.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement in which she claimed that Acosta had placed “his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” calling it “absolutely unacceptable,” reported CNBC.
Shortly after the news conference that led to the removal of Acosta’s pass, CNN issued their own statement.
“This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.”
Before issuing the lawsuit, CNN warned the White House that if they didn’t immediately reinstate Acosta’s pass, they would sue. On Tuesday, the news publication announced that they had gone through with the lawsuit and issued a statement explaining why.
“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in D.C. District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. 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. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”
In the statement, CNN warns that other news organizations may also be targeted by the president and that what happened to Acosta could happen to anyone.
First Amendment attorneys believe that CNN and Acosta have a strong case.