White House plans to let Jim Acosta's press pass expire; CNN responds

Posted November 20, 2018

Sanders said the White House may initiate further rules of decorum, if necessary. "I'll say thank you very much everybody, I appreciate you coming - and I'll leave", Trump responded. Follow-ups will only be permitted "at the discretion of the President or other White House officials". It's signed by Bill Shine, deputy chief of staff for communications, and Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, who are both named as defendants in the initial lawsuit. Acosta then refused to pass the microphone to a female White House aide and there was brief contact between the two.

Since the judge criticized the government for not following due process before banning Acosta, the new letter looks like an effort to establish a paper trail that will empower the administration to boot Acosta again at the end of the month.

The White House said Friday that, should Acosta contest the "preliminary decision", it would make a "final determination" by Monday at 3 p.m.

In court, US government lawyers said there was no First Amendment right of access to the White House and that Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the news conference and not for his criticism of the president.

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But the White House also instituted new rules for journalists at press conferences, claiming it has the right to suspend or revoke a journalist's credentials if they fail to follow any of the rules.

The letter said failure to abide by the rules "may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist's hard pass". Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled on Fifth Amendment grounds, saying Acosta's right to due process had been violated.

"We're writing them now". Late Friday, top officials named as defendants in the suit from CNN and Acosta suggested that the "preliminary" decision to revoke Acosta's pass earlier this month could be final if he doesn't submit materials to argue his case by November 18, for a final decision November 19.

The White House said Acosta would continue to hold his credentials while the 14-day judge's order was in effect.

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At the contentious news conference a day after Trump's Republicans lost their majority in the US House of Representatives, Trump erupted with anger when Acosta questioned him about the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and a migrant caravan travelling through Mexico.

For his part, Trump has said the issue is "not a big deal."

"And if he misbehaves, we'll throw him out, or we'll stop the news conference", Trump added, referring to Acosta.

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