CNN is filing a lawsuit on Tuesday against President Donald Trump and several of his aides.
The network is seeking the immediate reinstallation of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s media access to the White House and the press briefings as he had enjoyed before.
“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court,” the statement reads, in part, from the network.
“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.”
The lawsuit is a response to the White House’s suspension of Acosta’s press pass, known as a Secret Service “hard pass,” last week.
The lawsuit is alleging that the First and Fifth Amendment rights of both Acosta and CNN are being violated by the ban.
The suit is being filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, a CNN spokeswoman confirmed to other media outlets.
Both CNN and Acosta are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” CNN also said in announcing the lawsuit, which asks for a restraining order to have the press pass returned.
“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”
The six defendants listed are as follows: President Donald Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, White House 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, according to reports.
The White House Correspondents Association said it strongly supports CNN.
During an exchange with the president earlier on Wednesday of last week — an exchange in which Acosta repeatedly interrupted the president, tried to lecture him about the approaching migrant caravans from Central America, refused to turn over the mic to other reporters when a White House intern tried to take the mic, and even engaged in a bit of tug-of-war with her over the microphone — Trump called the CNN correspondent “a rude and terrible person.”
The reporter continued to press and interrupt the president about his characterization of the migrant caravan as an invasion.
“That’s enough, put down the mic,” Trump told Acosta.
“CNN should be ashamed of themselves [for] having you work for them. You are a rude and terrible people and you shouldn’t be working for CNN. You are a very rude person,” the president also told him.
“The way you treat Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible and the way you treat other people … you shouldn’t treat people that way.”
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