CNN Requests Emergency Hearing After Trump Warns Acosta’s Press Pass in Jeopardy Again

Jim Acosta of CNN listens during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP/Susan Walsh

CNN host Brian Stelter reports that the White House may once again revoke White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credential after a judge ruled to reinstate the “hard pass” last week. The network has asked for an emergency hearing in response to the threat.

“Friday’s court ruling means that a temporary restraining order is in effect for 14 days. But W.H. officials sent Acosta a letter stating that his press pass is set to be suspended again once the restraining order expires,” Stelter tweeted late Sunday.

In a statement shared through Stelter, CNN said suspending Acosta threatens “all journalists and news organizations.”

“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution,” the statement reads. “These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”

CNN has requested an “emergency” hearing in response to the White House’s warning.

Breitbart News reported on Friday that a judge granted CNN a 14-day temporary injunction regarding Acosta’s pass to expire November 30.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, citing the legal precedent from the 1977 D.C. Circuit Court case, Sherrill v. H. Knight, said the White House did not provide Acosta “due process” in revoking the pass. Kelly, a Trump appointee, made clear that the ruling was not based on whether the White House violated Acosta’s First Amendment rights. Rather, CNN and the White House correspondent demonstrated a likelihood of success in arguing that their Fifth Amendment rights to due process were breached, the judge said.

Further, the judge stated the fact that CNN has other pass holders does not reduce the level of “harm” towards the network’s White House correspondent. The judge also remarked on Acosta “laying hands” on a White House intern, calling the characterization “likely untrue” and “partly based on evidence of questionable accuracy.”

Notably, Kelly, referring to his ruling as “very limited” in nature, left the door open for the White House to revoke Acosta’s credentials, granted due process is respected.

Reacting to the ruling, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced it would “temporarily” reinstate the CNN reporter’s credentials and said the administration would come up with new rules to better the decorum during the briefings.

“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” said Sanders. “In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”

In an interview that aired Sunday, President Trump told Fox News host Chris Wallace that Kelly’s ruling was not a “big deal” and warned Acosta’s pass would be revoked if he “misbehaves” once more.

“Yeah, it’s fine, I mean it’s not a big deal,” the president said. “What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”

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