White House Still Plans to Revoke CNN Correspondent’s Press Pass

(Bloomberg) -- CNN asked for a new court hearing next week to contest a White House decision to revoke correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass again, a move that came only hours after a judge ordered it reinstated.

In a letter to Acosta on Nov. 16, Bill Shine, the deputy chief of staff for communications, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders advised the reporter that they’ve made a preliminary decision to suspend his pass, with a final ruling to come by 3 p.m. Monday.

“The president is aware of this preliminary decision and concurs,” they said in the letter.

The move by the White House is intended to rectify a fault the judge found when he ordered Acosta’s pass reinstated. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said the White House violated Acosta’s due process rights by revoking his pass without first explaining its actions.

In their letter, Shine and Sanders say Acosta failed to abide by “basic, widely understood practices” by shouting questions at the president during a Nov. 7 press conference and refusing to surrender a microphone to an intern who tried to retrieve it. They added Acosta can keep his pass while the judge’s 14-day order remains in effect.

CNN is seeking a hearing for a longer-lasting order, while the constitutional issues of revoking the pass are litigated.

CNN’s lawyer Ted Boutrous responded to Shine and Sanders, stating in a Nov. 18 letter that any action to suspend Acosta’s pass would “unquestionably violate his constitutional rights.”

“The White House’s illegal reaction after the Nov. 7 press conference cannot be made legal now by applying an after-the-fact concocted process,” Boutrous wrote.

White House lawyers said in a letter to the judge on Monday that the request for a hearing is premature, since a final decision hasn’t been made on whether to revoke Acosta’s pass.

The case is Cable News Network Inc. v Trump, 18-cv-2610, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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