Assuming this story turns out to be true (and let’s just make it clear up front that it’s not confirmed yet), it could make for some interesting times in the months to come. As you’ve probably already heard, former CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta had his White House hard pass pulled recently over yet another dustup in the briefing room. That’s probably one of the best things to happen to Acosta in quite some time when you consider how much he appears to love making himself part of the story. But it also angered not only the reporter but his bosses.
According to Sam Donaldson, CNN has already filed a lawsuit against the White House over the treatment Acosta received and they’ve begun taking depositions. He further claims that an initial hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. (Washington Times)
CNN may be preparing a lawsuit against the White House for suspending reporter Jim Acosta’s “hard pass” after last week’s fiery confrontation at a presidential press conference.
Former ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson said Sunday that CNN has sued the Trump administration — and that he has been asked to submit an affidavit — although the cable network said no decision has been reached.
“I hope I’m not mistaken, but it’s my understanding that CNN and Acosta have sued. That there will be a court hearing on Tuesday on this very matter that we’ve been discussing,” said Mr. Donaldson on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
When asked to comment, CNN claimed that no action had been taken yet, though it was under consideration. So is Donaldson making this up or simply confused? He’s not just repeating something he supposedly heard. He claims that he was already summoned for a deposition which would indicate that some sort of proceeding is already underway. If the story turns out to be untrue then we have to start questioning how well Sam is feeling these days and if he can keep his facts straight. (The guy is 84 after all.)
Assuming this is real, does CNN possibly have a case here? There are literally tens of thousands of newsrooms and reporting outlets from both old and new media all around the country, and every one of them would cut off a limb for a chance at a hard pass to the press briefing room. The White House decides who gets those passes, in conjunction with the appropriate security agencies. Granted, CNN is one of the biggest in the business, but what makes them feel that they are legally entitled to a hard pass? Perhaps more to the point, what makes them so sure that Jim Acosta specifically has to have a pass?
The network should have plenty of support from the Democrats. While all of this was going on, incoming House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff said yesterday that he’ll be investigating to see if President Trump “targeted” CNN and the WaPo. (Axios)
House Democrats plan to investigate whether President Trump abused White House power by targeting — and trying to punish with “instruments of state power” — the Washington Post and CNN, incoming House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff said in an interview for “Axios on HBO.”
Why it matters: Until now, all Trump critics could do is complain about his escalating attacks on the media. With subpoena power and public hearings, the incoming House Democratic majority can demand emails and testimony to see if Trump used “the instruments of state power to punish the press,” Schiff said.
Is this really the sort of thing which merits a Congressional investigation? I’m sure the Democrats will be claiming it is, but what we should really take from this is the willingness of the new House majority to open up investigations against anyone associated with the White House at the drop of a hat. Don’t expect much else to get done.