White House Fully Restores Jim Acosta’s Press Pass

April FrancisНоя 20, 2018

The White House has issued a new warning to CNN's Jim Acosta, saying his press pass could be revoked again at the end of the month.

In a filing on Monday, CNN and Acosta asked for an expedited hearing next week after top White House communications officials told Acosta in a letter late on Friday that it had already chose to suspend his pass once the two-week restraining order expires.

Acosta's "hard pass" - which gave him expedited access to the White House grounds - was suspended November 7 after he got into a contentious exchange during a news conference being held by President Donald Trump, and it was expected that the White House would again attempt to ban Acosta after a series of legal threats in emails and court filings, Fox News reported. "We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference". In the Friday ruling, Washington, D.C., District Court Judge Timothy Kelly restored Acosta's credentials temporarily while a CNN lawsuit against the administration proceeded.

CNN says the letter appears to be an attempt to "provide retroactive due process". It's signed by Bill Shine, deputy chief of staff for communications, and Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, who are both named as defendants in the initial lawsuit.

Follow-up questions, the White House adds in a letter to Mr Acosta, will only be allowed "at the discretion of the president or other White House officials". He did not address any alleged First Amendment violations.

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Government lawyers downplayed CNN's request for urgent court action.

All of this was detailed by CNN in a progress report filed in court on Monday.

Despite the filing, Acosta and CNN said they "remain hopeful" the dispute could be resolved outside of court, they wrote. The White House had considered only restoring the pass temporarily for the time required by the judge, but it caved and issued a full restoration Monday. But I think some have extrapolated from that that if the White House were to give Acosta proper due process - advance written notice as to why his pass was revoked, a chance to respond, yadda yadda - then they could take his pass away.

Trump, who has long blasted the media and often targeted Acosta, said on Fox News Sunday the judge's decision was "not a big deal" and that the White House would establish rules for the press. "So a court fight could result in a precedent that curtails freedom to cover the most powerful official in the world from the literal front row".

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