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U.S. judge to hold hearing on CNN White House lawsuit

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U.S. judge to hold hearing on CNN White House lawsuit

By David Shepardson and Doina Chiacu

 

2018-11-13T144038Z_1_LYNXNPEEAC16U_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-CNN.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN's Jim Acosta as he questions U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference following Tuesday's midterm U.S. congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge said he would hold a hearing on Wednesday on CNN's lawsuit against the Trump administration seeking the speedy reinstatement of press credentials for White House correspondent Jim Acosta, a frequent target of President Donald Trump.

 

In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the cable news network said the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial process.

 

The network asked for a temporary restraining order.

 

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, dismissed the action as "just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit."

 

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to respond to the lawsuit by 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) on Wednesday and he set a hearing for 3:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) that day on the request for a restraining order. Kelly, a former lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee, was nominated to the bench by Trump last year.

 

The White House revoked Acosta's credentials last week in an escalation of the Republican president's attacks on the news media, which he has dubbed the "enemy of the people."

 

Trump has intensified his criticism of the reporters who cover him, making personal jabs in response to questions he does not like, including those about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of whether his campaign worked with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election. Trump denies any collusion took place.

 

CNN, and Acosta in particular, have been regular targets of the president.

 

The day after the Nov. 6 congressional elections, Trump erupted into anger during a news conference when Acosta questioned him about the Russia probe and a migrant caravan travelling through Mexico.

 

"That's enough, that's enough," Trump told Acosta last Wednesday, as a White House intern attempted to take the microphone away from the correspondent. "You are a rude, terrible person."

 

The White House suspended his credentials later that day, with Sanders alleging that Acosta had put his hands on the intern who was trying to take the microphone from him. Videos of the encounter show Acosta pulling back as the intern moved to take the microphone.

 

'COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE'

"While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone," CNN said in a statement. "If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials."

 

The lawsuit noted that Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday there "could be others also."

 

Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for CNN and Acosta, said the White House was punishing Acosta for the contents of his reporting. "The White House cannot be permitted to cast out and punish reporters with whom it disagrees," CNN said in its court filing.

 

The White House Correspondents Association said revoking Acosta's credentials was a disproportionate reaction to what happened at the news conference.

 

"The President of the United States should not be in the business of arbitrarily picking the men and women who cover him," it said.

 

U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, who is likely to become the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in January, supported the CNN lawsuit.

 

"@CNN is right to fight back against the cynical, unfair, and authoritarian treatment of @Acosta for doing his job," he said in a Twitter post.

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Peter Cooney)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-11-14

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45 minutes ago, DoctorG said:

CNN are arguing that his 1st and 5th were impinged upon.

 

Great question!  

 

CNN has put the text of the actual filed complaint on the Internet, which I have linked below.

 

Scroll down to the lower part of the complaint.  There you can read the causes of action, of which there are three.  As you have stated, CNN alleges that their First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated, which are the first two causes of action, respectively.  

 

However, the third stated cause of action cites a US Code section, viz., 5 USC sec. 706.  That's not part of the Constitution, but it is a federal statute.  That's a law passed by the US Congress.  

 

50 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

You do realize that the difference between U.S. Code and the Constitution?

 

PS, for whatever it means to us, the third cause of action states that it is against all defendants except Trump.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/13/media/cnn-sues-trump-full-complaint/index.html

Edited by helpisgood
typo and added PS
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34 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

So did you attend Law School as well?

 

You do realize that the difference between U.S. Code and the Constitution?

 

Without accepted published rules and associated punishments, we'll devolve into some banana-republic-y country, obeying the whims of the ruler and his sycophants.

 

What did he do, exactly, which required the Secret Service to revoke his pass? Why were similar, general and vague, threats made against other journalists?

 

At least the "Discovery" process will be interesting.

 

 

Clearly you never went to law school, nor do you know what your talking about. 

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Solution is to put CNN in charge of handing out credentials, enough of the Secret Service handling that task.

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3 minutes ago, DoctorG said:

If it is OK with you, I will wait to see what the court says as I can easily find a lawyer who will say the opposite to yours as quoted.

It's OK with me - go ahead.

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48 minutes ago, helpisgood said:

PS, for whatever it means to us, the third cause of action states that it is against all defendants except Trump.

 

The President is, more or less, "above the law" while in office.

 

All others, maybe save the VP, are subject to the laws of the land, for now anyway.

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How is it possible that the White House can't take away press passes to the White House? 

Accosta (the accoster) is rude and totally disrespectful and represents a dying new organization. I am sure there are thousands of journalists that would gladly take his spot.

Edited by canuckamuck
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26 minutes ago, canuckamuck said:

How is it possible that the White House can't take away press passes to the White House? 

 

That appears to be the crux of the matter.

 

Assuming there are rules, and remedies and redresses, then perhaps they can.

 

However, the capriciousness of revocation of the "hard pass" (not a press pass per se), and the various/sundry "reasons" (Bill Shine, Sarah Sanders, Kellyanne Conway) publicly given, and "doctored" videos re-tweeted, would support that this was not a rational, well-thought-out act. Additionally, there is some talk that there was some pre-planning to lure Acosta into a situation. That of course, will come out in hearings.

 

I think most Americans, with a tad of common sense, can see that depriving anyone of gainful employment in the position of their choice is, without appeal, well, un-American.

 

 

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