Fight over Jim Acosta's White House press pass seems far from over


CNN reporter Jim Acosta had his White House pass taken away earlier this month after a confrontation with President Trump at a press conference.

The White House sent a letter to CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, informing him that when a temporary restraining order runs out, he will once again be denied access to press briefings, CNN's Brian Stelter reported.

Acosta's pass was revoked following a November 7 press conference during which a White House intern attempted to grab the mic out of Acosta's hands, and Trump verbally berated Acosta as the reporter continued asking questions.

"Put simple, the White House's illegal reaction after the November 7 press conference can not be made legal now by applying an after-the-fact concocted process", wrote CNN's lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr.

Over the weekend, Acosta and CNN's legal team wrote back to Sanders and Shine, calling the letter a "attempt to provide retroactive due process" and requesting the White House "refrain from - yet again - violating the constitutional rights of CNN and Acosta".

But by reaching out to Acosta now to express their intention to revoke his pass in the coming weeks, the White House is taking a different approach. In the Friday ruling, the judge restored Acosta's credentials temporarily while a CNN lawsuit against the administration proceeds. On Friday, Trump said that "rules and regulations" were being drafted to govern news conferences, where the president or his representatives often accuse journalists - Acosta in particular - of being overly hostile.

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In a response Monday morning, government lawyers called the CNN motion a "self-styled "emergency" and sought to portray the White House's moves as a lawful next step.

Above is a copy of the letter that the White House sent Acosta on Friday. But he also found that a reporter's "First Amendment liberty interest in a White House press pass" is also protected by the Fifth Amendment's due process guarantees, as The Washington Post's Erik Wemple previously reported. The White House restored Acosta's hard pass, which is what the lawsuit hoped to accomplish.

"These actions threaten all journalists and news organisations".

CNN's report indicates that "the network and Acosta "remain hopeful" that the parties "can resolve this dispute without further court intervention". Trump later called Acosta's behaviour distracting and disrespectful.

Trump played down the ruling, saying it wasn't "a big deal".