Justice Department Defends Removal Of CNN’s Jim Acosta Press Pass, Says No One Has Right To Enter White House

U.S. President Donald Trump gets into an exchange with CNN reporter Jim Acosta during a news conference a day after the midterm elections on November 7, 2018 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
Al Drago / Getty Images

The Justice Department has responded to criticism over the removal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass, defending the decision as the news network filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the Trump administration in an effort to secure the return of Acosta’s press credentials, according to a report by Business Insider.

CNN released a statement on Tuesday attacking the administration’s decision to revoke Acosta’s press pass, accusing the action of being an infringement of “Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process.”

The statement went on to say, “If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

The Justice Department and its lawyers have responded with a 28-page filing that emphasizes their perspective that “no journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House.”

The filing continues, saying, “The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position. The First Amendment simply does not regulate these decisions.”

The lawyers who put together the filing also argued that the lawsuit put forth by CNN would not hold up under the scrutiny of due process because “the lack of a hard pass does not prevent Mr. Acosta — much less CNN — from reporting on the White House.”

The filing continues to say, “That revocation was premised on stated reasons that are viewpoint- and content-neutral and are evident from the video of the November 7 press conference.”

On Wednesday, Fox News made the somewhat surprising move of lending their support to CNN in its First Amendment lawsuit, as previously covered by the Inquisitr. Fox News president Jay Wallace released a statement announcing that Fox News would be filing an amicus brief, otherwise known as a friend-of-the-court brief, in support of CNN with the State Department.

In the statement, Wallace said, “FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access, and open exchanges for the American people.”

CNN thanked Fox News for its support in a statement released Wednesday.