Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

CNN’s suit against Trump could set new standard

CNN’s suit against Trump could set new standard

President Donald Trump's Justice Department filed a response Wednesday to CNN's lawsuit hours ahead of a hearing in federal court in Washington, where the network sued Trump and top aides over the decision to pull Acosta's White House credentials after he clashed with the president at a November 7 news conference.

Fox News said Wednesday it would join rival CNN in its legal battle to restore the access of White House reporter Jim Acosta, maintaining that press credentials "should never be weaponised".

A group of other news organizations, including Fox News, NBC News, the New York Times, the Washington Post and two wire services - AP and Bloomberg - also said they would file a joint amicus brief in support of CNN on Wednesday.

"If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a unsafe chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials", CNN said.

"The White House can not run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional", she said. In 2009, CNN supported Fox News' right to take part in a White House event during the Obama administration.

Their memo comes on the same day numerous other media organisations - including Fox News - announced their support for the broadcaster. The cable news giant is requesting an immediate restraining order requiring the White House to return Acosta's press pass.

As CNN said in court documents filed Tuesday, the White House denied Acosta's application for a day pass on November 8, the day after his hard pass was revoked following the post-midterms news conference.

Wallace followed, "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 American people". "We intend to file a friend of the court brief in support of CNN's lawsuit to defend its constitutional rights".

"The stated rationale for the revocation of Mr. Acosta's pass-that he was disrupting press proceedings-is evident from the video he has proffered, is entirely viewpoint- and content-neutral, and clears this limited bar [prohibiting arbitrary and less than compelling reasons]", the administration argued.

"Such interactions [between reporter and president] however uncomfortable they may appear to be, help define the strength of our national institutions", the association said.

Acosta did eventually surrendered the microphone, but the White House also suspended Acosta's press pass.

"Without this credential, a daily White House correspondent like Acosta effectively can not do his job", CNN's lawsuit said.

"Just sit down, please", Trump said.

CNN asked for an injunction to immediately reinstate Acosta, as well as a hearing on the larger issue of barring a reporter.

In its lawsuit CNN claimed that Trump's administration violated Acosta's due process rights by revoking his press credentials without warning and false claims that he placed his hands on a White House intern who tried to take his microphone during the news conference.

CNN filed suit against the president and several of his aides.

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