Washington (CNN)The first hearing in CNN and Jim Acosta’s federal lawsuit against President Trump and several top White House aides ended with the judge saying that he would rule on Thursday.
CNN and Acosta are alleging that the White House’s suspension of his press pass violates the First and Fifth Amendments. Their lawyers are asking for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction that would restore his pass right away. They also want the administration’s action deemed unconstitutional.CNN and Acosta filed suit on Tuesday. The case was assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee.On Wednesday afternoon Kelly heard arguments over the proposed temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction from Theodore Boutrous, an attorney representing CNN, and Justice Department attorney James Burnham.The judge began by probing CNN’s arguments for the better part of an hour. Then he questioned Burnham and heard rebuttals from Boutrous. The hearing lasted for nearly two hours, with Kelly scrutinizing both sides, drilling down especially deep on some of CNN’s arguments.
The fakest news in town is that the president is mad at a preening TV reporter who’s great for ratings.
If CNN reporter Jim Acosta is such a troublous force inside the White House Briefing Room—a “rude, terrible person” as President Donald Trump recently put it—deserving of being banned from White House grounds, then why did Trump and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders routinely call on him during the televised question and answer periods at the White House over the past 22 months?
Had Acosta’s behavior truly offended them, Sanders and Trump could have permanently stifled the pesky reporter by treating him like a ghost, averting their gazes and picking other reporters during question time. Acosta couldn’t have done anything about it. Instead, Sanders and Trump regularly called on Acosta, counting on the likelihood that he would do that Acosta thing of speechifying and playing microphone hog as he attempts to turn a question into an extended back-and-forth. Sanders and Trump have pretended exasperation at Acosta’s posturing—posturing that hasn’t broken much news, by the way—but not so secretly they happily wallow in his pomposity. By getting Acosta to play the preening, self-aggrandizing, sanctimonious reporter and using him as the punching bag for the White House’s anti-press strategy, Sanders and Trump have created a unique public venue to exhibit their hatred for the “fake news” of CNN.