CNN Sues Trump Administration Over Jim Acosta White House Ban

Network says the revocation of Acosta’s press credentials violates the First and Fifth Amendments

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CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the White House revoked press credentials for their political correspondent Jim Acosta last week.

“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta,” said the network in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers out elected officials,” it continued.

CNN has retained top talent to represent them in the suit including former GOP Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson.

“The Supreme Court has held in no uncertain terms that the First Amendment protects ‘robust political debate,’ including ‘speech that is critical of those who hold public office,’” said Olson in a statement. “Mr. Acosta’s press credentials must be restored so that all members of the press know they will remain free to ask tough questions, challenge government officials, and report the business of the nation to the American people.”

Reps for the White House did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

The network publicly teased the idea of a suit on Monday, responding to inquiries from TheWrap and others on the matter by saying only that “no decision” had yet been made. On Sunday’s episode of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams said if CNN brought the suit, they would win.

“This is going to happen again,” said Abrams. “It’s likely to happen again. So whether it’s CNN suing or the next company suing, someone is going to have to bring a lawsuit. And whoever does is going to win unless there’s some sort of reason.”

Last week, the White House revoked Acosta’s press credentials after an unusually nasty exchange between him and Trump over the migrant caravan.

“CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” the president said as Acosta stammered. “The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. The way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”