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CNN files lawsuit against Trump administration over Jim Acosta's press credentials

"The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press," CNN said in a statement.

CNN has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking correspondent Jim Acosta's press credentials, the network said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process," a statement from CNN reads.

The network filed the suit in a Washington, D.C., district court, according to the statement, saying they have asked for "an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned" to Acosta.

Listed as defendants in the suit are Trump in addition to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, and the U.S. Secret Service and its director Randolph Alles and an unnamed Secret Service agent.

On Tuesday, Sanders responded to the suit, saying that CNN has nearly 50 other pass holders and that "Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment."

“We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit," Sanders said.

A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN's Jim Acosta as he questions U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference following Tuesday's midterm U.S. congressional elections at the White House in Washington on Nov. 7, 2018.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

The lawsuit says that Acosta and CNN have been favorite targets of the administration, adding that they intend this suit to "ensure that the press remains free to question the government and to report the business of the nation to the American people."

A number of derogatory tweets and comments made by Trump about CNN are mentioned in the suit. The suit noted that Trump retweeted "a video depicting him tackling and punching a man with a CNN logo superimposed on his face, adding the comments '#FraudNewsCNN' and '#FNN.'"

Several historic court rulings are cited in the suit, including Sherrill v. Knight, which determined that content-based criteria for press passes violate the First Amendment, according to the American Bar Association.

Acosta has covered the White House for CNN since 2012 and has had press credentials, called a “hard pass” since 2013.

In a statement from White House Correspondents’ Association President Olivier Knox, the organization said it supported CNN’s lawsuit.

“Revoking access to the White House complex amounted to disproportionate reaction to the events of last Wednesday. We continue to urge the Administration to reverse course and fully reinstate CNN’s correspondent,” the statement read.

Trump’s reasoning for removing the pass was that Acosta failed to “treat the White House with respect,” according to the suit. In a contentious back-and-forth with Trump during a press briefing on Wednesday, the president called Acosta "a rude, terrible person" as the correspondent tried to ask him a question.

Sanders claimed that Acosta's attempt to "monopolize the floor" did a disservice to the other reporters in the room.

Acosta tweeted Wednesday night that he had been denied access to the White House as he attempted to enter and showed video of him as he handed over his credentials to a Secret Service agent.

Sanders claimed in a statement that Acosta put "his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern" during the confrontation with Trump. A video of the exchange does not appear to support that accusation.