CNN filed a lawsuit against Pres. Donald Trump, three of his top aides and two members of the Secret Service in an effort to have Jim Acosta’s access to the White House restored. Following CNN’s filing, more than a dozen news groups including Fox, the Associated Press and The Washington Post filed “friend-of-the-court” briefs in solidarity with CNN and Acosta.
The suit names chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, and deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine. Also named are Joseph Clancy, director of the Secret Service and the agent who took Acosta’s ‘hard pass,’ which allowed the journalist access to the White House.
CNN reported the suit was filed in response to the suspension of Acosta’s press pass saying his and CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, CNN reported.
In solidarity with CNN, Fox News, the rival cable TV broadcast news station surprised some with his move to stand with the oft-criticized, by its own journalist and hosts.
“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. 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 the American people,” Fox News President Jay Wallace was quoted as saying.
Acosta’s access was was suspended last week after after a contentious and controversial exchange between Acosta and Trump. Acosta had been asking Trump questions about the refugee caravan when Trump took issue with the assertive journalist and in a stunning exchange and then attempted snatching of the microphone away from Acosta by a young female intern, which Acosta refused to give up, his press credential was revoked.
According to CNN, numerous other news outlets have signed on to the amicus brief in support of the lawsuit including Bloomberg, Gannett, NBC News, The New York Times, Politico, USA Today, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Press Freedom Defense Fund, and the E.W. Scripps Company.
CNN reported that the statement reads, “Whether the news of the day concerns national security, the economy, or the environment, reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions. It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the President and his activities, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons. Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this President, or any President. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles.”
Sanders tweeted the President and White House stood by its decision to ban Acosta.
Wednesday CNN and Acosta were in court.
Here is the Department of Justice’s 28-page response to the CNN lawsuit.