Jim Acosta will have to wait another day to find out if he’s getting his White House press credentials back immediately.
Judge Timothy Kelly was set to bring everyone back into DC District Court on Thursday at 3 PM ET to announce his decision whether to grant a temporary restraining order, one day after CNN and the DOJ spent two hours pitching their sides to Kelly. Now it’s been put off until 10 AM ET on Friday.
“Frankly I have no idea what that means,” CNN’s media guru Brian Stelter confessed on air when the delay was announced Thursday.
CNN has sued the White House, several aides to President Donald Trump, and the Secret Service, which took Acosta’s credentials from him the day of his contentious post-midterms presser exchange with Trump. The cable news network says Trump’s pulling of Acosta’s badge violates his and their First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights. CNN has been joined by more than a dozen outlets in its argument, including Fox News Channel and earlier today the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Kelly is weighing in on CNN’s request for a TRO restoring Acosta’s credentials immediately while its lawsuit makes its way through the legal system. It has been more than a week since Acosta’s press badge was suspended.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Trump’s legal team stunningly argued POTUS can ban all reporters from the White House for any reason, should he so desire.
Trump, argued Deputy Assistant Attorney General James Burnham, can ban all reporters from the White House grounds if he wants, insisting “There is no First Amendment right.”
There’s a lot of stock being put in how Kelly rules on the TRO; Stelter said CNN would take it as a sign the judge is not buying what it’s selling in its argument about Trump’s act of aggression against Acosta violating its First and Fifth Amendment rights.
White House initially claimed it pulled Acosta’s credentials because he put his hand on a female White House intern during Trump’s post-midterms presser, who had repeatedly grabbed at Acosta’s hand trying to wrest a microphone from him. When the White House’s doctored video of that event was exposed, the Trump administration dropped that argument.
These days, White House is arguing Acosta held its microphone hostage at that last-straw presser. Pugnacious Acosta – “rude” and “terrible” as Trump describes him, or “preening” if you prefer Politico’s description – is too disruptive, the White House argued, when Trump or Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders call on him, which they do at virtually every press event, suggesting both sides revel in the drama.