The White House sent a letter to CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, informing him that when a temporary restraining order runs out, he will once again be denied access to press briefings, CNN's Brian Stelter reported. CNN has called for an emergency hearing regarding this letter.
What's the background?
On Nov. 7, Acosta and President Donald Trump had a heated exchanged during a press briefing at the White House. Acosta started by saying that he wanted to “challenge” a statement Trump had made while campaigning for midterm candidates, and it ended with Trump telling Acosta to sit down because “when you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”
Following the exchange, the White House revoked Acosta's hard press pass. CNN filed a lawsuit against the White House, demanding that Acosta's press pass be restored.
Even Fox News backed CNN in this lawsuit. In a statement, Fox News President Jay Wallace said, “While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access, and open exchanges for the American people.”
On Friday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order reinstating Acosta's press pass. The restraining order will expire 14 days after it was issued.
What happened now?
According to Stelter's email newsletter from Sunday, "After CNN won a temporary restraining order on Friday, forcing the White House to restore his press pass for 14 days, White House officials sent Acosta a letter stating that his pass is set to be suspended again once the restraining order expires.
"From the looks of the letter, the W.H. is trying to establish a paper trail that will empower the administration to boot Acosta again at the end of the month," said Stelter, a CNN senior media correspondent.
According to CNN, the letter to Acosta was signed by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine. CNN's lawyer's called the letter an “attempt to provide retroactive due process.”
In a statement, CNN said: "The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution. These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President."
The Fifth Amendment states, in part, that “no person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” CNN argued that the White House violated this when they took Acosta's hard pass. A hard pass allows a reporter to attend multiple press briefings without having to reapply for a day pass. It also makes it easier for them to go through White House security.
CNN has requested an emergency hearing with the U.S. District Court in light of the White House's statement.
TheBlaze reached out to the White House for comment but has not received a response.