US judge sides with CNN, rules against White House

Judge Timothy Kelly issued a temporary restraining order that requires the White House to restore Acosta’s access until a full hearing is held, according to the network.

 

A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN’s Jim Acosta as he questions U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference following Tuesday’s midterm U.S. congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. (REUTERS)

 

A US federal judge on Friday sided with CNN and ordered the White House to restore reporter Jim Acosta’s press badge that had been revoked after a testy exchange between him and President Donald Trump at a news conference a week ago.

The case had become a test of press freedom under President Trump, who has routinely clashed with reporters, called them “stupid”, disparaged news reports as “fake news” and attacked news publications.

Every major news publication and network, including the conservative Fox News, had supported and joined CNN’s legal challenge to the revocation of Acosta’s White House press badge, which is called “Hard Pass”.

Judge Timothy J Kelly of Federal District Court in Washington, a Trump appointee, ruled, siding with CNN’s argument, that the White House had not followed “due process” in cancelling the reporter’s credential — that there should be a proper procedure to determine who decides who gets or doesn’t get a press pass and what are the grounds for withdrawing it.

The White House had argued the President has broad authority to decide.

CNN welcomed the verdict saying, “We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”

“I just want to thank all my colleagues in the press who supported me this week. I want to thank the judge. And let’s go back to work,” Acosta told reporters outside the DC court.

There had been no response from the White House till the filing of this report.

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