Jim Acosta's White House Press Pass Could Be Suspended Again & CNN Is Ready
Jim Acosta's press pass was reinstated with a judge's restraining order last week — but the drama is far from over. CNN's Brian Stelter reported on Sunday that the White House told CNN they would suspend Acosta's press pass again as soon as that 14-day restraining order expires. Bustle has reached out to the White House and CNN for comment.
Stelter reported the news in a Reliable Sources mailing and on Twitter. He said that the White House sent the network a letter making the "threat." The restraining order, handed down on Fifth Amendment grounds for violations of due process, was won on Friday. That means that the White House reportedly plans to suspend the press pass two weeks from that date, approximately Nov. 30.
CNN responded Sunday to the White House letter with a statement given to Stelter. "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."
The next step in the legal process is to work out the schedule for future hearings — unless there is a settlement sooner. CNN reported that next hearings would be for a preliminary injunction, which would last longer than a restraining order. The Washington Post reported that representatives for both CNN and the White House were expected to give status reports on Monday morning to the court.
In the lawsuit, CNN's lawyers have argued that in addition to the Fifth Amendment, the First Amendment's protections for the press make the revocation of the press pass unconstitutional. But the White House has said there are other CNN reporters who could fill in for Acosta and that he can report on the White House without being able to enter the grounds.
U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed to the position by President Trump, centered his preliminary decision on the Fifth Amendment's due process protections. Kelly noted that the decision was "so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me ... who made the decision," The Post reported.
After the ruling, though, the White House's response focused on how the ruling did not use the First Amendment in its reasoning, and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House would develop rules to enforce "decorum" among the reporters with a press pass.
"Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House. 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," Sanders said in a statement Friday provided to CNBC. "There must be decorum at the White House."
Meanwhile Acosta is back at work at the White House while CNN and the White House's lawyers continue to fight it out.