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CNN sues Trump and aides

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NEW YORK: Cable News Network (CNN) has filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his White House aides, seeking the immediate restoration of Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s access to the White House.

CNN filed the suit in the US District Court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning in response to the White House’ suspension of Acosta’s press pass, known as a Secret Service “hard pass”. It was assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee.

The network says both it and Acosta are plaintiffs in the suit against six defendants; Trump, his Chief of Staff John Kelly, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles and the Secret Service officer who took Acosta’s hard pass away last Wednesday.

Sanders said CNN was “grandstanding” by suing and the administration would “vigorously defend” itself.

On Tuesday morning, CNN said it is seeking a preliminary injunction so that Acosta can return to the White House right away, and for a ruling from the court preventing the White House from revoking Acosta’s pass in the future.

The White House Correspondents’ Association said it “strongly supports CNN’s goal of seeing their correspondent regain a US Secret Service security credential that the White House should not have taken away in the first place.”

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

CNN Worldwide Chief Counsel David Vigilante and prominent attorneys Ted Boutrous and Theodore Olson are fighting the case.

In an interview on Tuesday morning, Boutrous said CNN tried to resolve the matter privately, but the White House was not responsive so “we really had no choice but to sue. We didn’t want to have to go to court. We wanted to just report the news,” he said.

The White House’s rationale was widely criticized by journalists across the political spectrum.


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