The White House plans to once again suspend CNN’s Jim Acosta’s press pass after a court-mandated temporary restoration expires.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly granted a 14-day restraining order after CNN filed a lawsuit claiming Acosta’s right under the First and Fifth amendments were violated when the White House rescinded his press pass after the TV reporter refused to return a microphone during a press conference.
CNN reported on Sunday night that the White House has sent a letter to Acosta saying his press pass will be suspended at the end of the month, when that 14-day period expires.
“Friday’s court ruling means that a temporary restraining order is in effect for 14 days. But [White House] officials sent Acosta a letter stating that his press pass is set to be suspended again once the restraining order expires,” CNN’s Brian Stelter reported.
Stelter reported that CNN said in a statement that the White House’s pledged action would threaten “all journalists and news organizations.”
“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution,” the network said. “These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”
But Judge Kelly noted that his ruling was narrow. “I want to emphasize the very limited nature of this ruling,” he said Friday as he stated that Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights to due process were violated, but did not rule on whether the correspondent’s First Amendment rights were violated as well.
In accepting the ruling, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House would “temporarily” reinstate Acosta’s hard pass.
“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” Sanders said. “In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”
President Trump said on Fox News on Sunday that the White House plans to deal harshly with Acosta if he “misbehaves” again.
“What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference,” Trump said.
“I think one of the things we’ll do is maybe turn the camera off that faces them because then they don’t have any air time, although I’ll probably be sued for that and maybe, you know, win or lose it, who knows,” Trump added. “I mean, with this stuff you never know what’s going to happen.”