CNN and CNN Chief White House correspondent James Acosta have filed a lawsuit against President Trump, the White House communications team, and the Secret Service on Tuesday.
The court filing comes almost a week after CNN’s Acosta had his White House credentials revoked.
As the News Blender reported last Wednesday, President Trump held a post midterm election presser in which he and Acosta had a testy exchanged. During the exchange an intern approached to take the mic away from Acosta and hand it off to another reporter, according to the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is also named in the lawsuit, Acosta placed his hands on the White House intern. It was just before 8 p.m. eastern time when Acosta tried to re-enter the White House and was told by a Secret Service agent, also named in the lawsuit as “John Doe,” that his White House credentials had been revoked.
According to the court documents filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, CNN and Acosta allege the removal of Acosta’s White House credentials aka a “hard pass,” violates their First Amendment rights along with their Fifth Amendment right of due process.
CNN reports that the code the Secret Service use that is cited in the court documents state, “in granting or denying a request for a security clearance made in response to an application for a White House press pass, officials of the Secret Service will be guided solely by the principle of whether the applicant presents a potential source of physical danger to the President and/or the family of the President so serious as to justify his or her exclusion from White House press privileges.”
The article also goes on to explain that according to First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams other guidelines that were established during a 1977 ruling that ruled in favor of a journalist barred entry to the White House in 1966, states that the White House must give notice before denial of White House press credentials, “you have to have notice, you have to have a chance to respond, and you have to have a written opinion by the White House as to what it’s doing and why, so the courts can examine it.”
Also named in the lawsuit are, Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, William Shine, United States Secret Service as the federal law enforcement agency that administers and oversees security at the White House, Randolph Alles, who is the director of the Secret Service.
The White House issued a response to the lawsuit calling the move, “just more grandstanding,” on the part of CNN. The statement via Twitter.
Why It Matters
As was reported by the News Blender on Friday, prior to departing for Paris, France, when asked if other reporters were in danger of losing their “hard passes,” President Trump explained their could be others, going so far as to call journalist April Ryan, who is also an analyst for CNN, a “loser.”
For what it’s worth here is the segment with Floyd Abrams from CNN.