CNN announced Tuesday morning that it had filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, and the Secret Service over their revocation of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass last week.
CNN said in a statement that the White House’s action violated their and Acosta’s first and fifth amendments rights and “while the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone.”
“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 was not a surprise, especially once former White House correspondent Sam Donaldson appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources and said he was asked to write an affidavit for a lawsuit he thought had been announced.
CNN’s legal complaint also broke the news that the network had attempted more traditional means to resolve this matter as CNN head Jeff Zucker had reached out to Kelly. Acosta was also denied a day pass (as opposed to the two-year “hard pass” that White House correspondents have to bypass security) and prohibited from covering the President’s event in France.
Sanders dismissed the lawsuit as “grandstanding” and said they will fight it.