Trump is nearing the point where he’ll be facing a whole new spate of lawsuits — over his refusal to submit to subpoenas, over the NDAs he forced staffers and interns to sign, over his taxes — not to mention the potential criminal cases likely to surface out of the Southern District of New York.
In honor of that, we thought we’d have another look at probably our favorite lawsuit against Trump from 2018 — which he of course lost — when he tried like a toddler to ban a reporter from the White House Press Room.
Embattled CNN reporter Jim Acosta was ebullient after November’s hearing which granted his network temporary relief in the form of a restraining order against the Trump administration. Trump-appointed Federal Judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the defendants — Trump, Sarah Sanders, WH Communications Director Bill Shine, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and the Secret Service — to hand over Acosta’s security badge that allows him access to White House press briefings.
The judge ruled that the Trump administration had likely violated Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights, in addition to casting judicial doubt on the subject of whether Acosta had “put his hands on” the intern who famously attempted to snatch a microphone away from him during the briefing that led to Trump’s revocation of his “hard pass.”
Outside the courthouse, Acosta was succinct:
Everybody, thanks for coming. I just want to say something very briefly, and that is, I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week, and I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today, and… Let’s go back to work!”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 16, 2018
Of course, the judge’s order does not require Trump or whoever ends up being his new Press Secretary after the departure of Sarah Sanders to call on Acosta for questions at any future press briefings, and the odds of him getting an opportunity to ask questions of the administration are slim to none at this point. But importantly, the precedent, should the judge grant permanent relief in the case by finding Trump’s actions unconstitutional, would serve to protect other journalists who might have otherwise suffered a similar fate at the whim of a temperamental President.
Featured image via screen capture