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CNN Is Officially Suing The White House

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Earlier this week, Blue Side Nation reported that CNN had been given advice from a top First Amednment lawyer that they should sue the White House – and, specifically, President Donald Trump – for barring their White House Correspondent Jim Acosta from access to the press pool there.

The incident came after a bizarre exchange between the President and Acosta during the press briefing session following the dissemination of the results of the midterm elections. Essentially, a White House aide tried to wrestle the micrphone away from Acosta because the President didn’t like some of the questions he was asking. Then, the White House massively overreacted and barred him from access altogether, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeting allegations of assault against Acosta which he denied immediately and strenuously. That’s what prompted a veteran free speech and free press lawyer to urge CNN to file a lawsuit over the incident against the White House.

Well, it seems that they have heeded that advice. Earlier today, CNN posted on their website a very long lawsuit document alleging that the “hard pass” being seized from Acosta by the Secret Service was illegal and in breach of the organization’s Constitutional rights according to the First and Fifth Amendments.

The lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court in Washington, D.C.; it has already been docketed and assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly – a judge who was appointed by Donald Trump. Nonetheless, CNN is pushing for the case to proceed quickly, fighting for a preliminary hearing as soon as possible. (Presumably, they would like this case to conclude while Trump is still President, so that it will have the greatest possible impact in the public eye.)

Acosta himself and CNN as a whole are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. There are six defendants: the President himself, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine, Director of the Secret Service Randolph Alles and the unnamed Secret Service officer who actually took away Acosta’s “hard pass”.

Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide, defended the action as urgent and necessary. In an internal memo to staff which was subsequently leaked to the press, he said:

“This is not a step we have taken lightly. But the White House action is unprecedented.”

It didn’t take long for the White House to issue a response. In it, Sarah Huckabee Sanders alleges that the lawsuit is merely CNN “grandstanding” and that the White House will “vigorously defend” itself. That won’t dissuade CNN, though. They are clearly invested in this.


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