CNN published an explanation of the lawsuit in a post on its press room blog. The suit was filed in the DC District Court, and it demands first and foremost that Acosta get his White House press credentials back. Acosta was banned from the White House last week after the president's explosive press conference, where he pushed the president on questions about Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.
"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," CNN's press release read.
The president has a famously combative relationship with the press, and CNN and Acosta in particular have taken a lot of his harshest insults. Last Wednesday, the president made it personal, calling Acosta "a terrible person" and a "rude person," adding that CNN "should be ashamed" to employ him.
"While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone," CNN's release points out. "If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted a video of Acosta on Twitter last week that many claimed was doctored. When an intern tried to grab the reporter's microphone, his arm touched hers, but the version Sanders posted had allegedly sped up the clip, making it look more like Acosta had struck her.
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
"The White House Correspondents' Association strongly supports CNN's goal of seeing their correspondent regain a US Secret Service security credential that the White House should not have taken away in the first place," said the WHCA president, according to MSNBC's Kyle Griffin.
President Trump has been unapologetic for banning Acosta, and has even threatened to keep other reporters out as well. On Friday, he spoke to reporters outside of the White House and said that anyone in the press corps needs to "treat the presidency with respect."
"When you are in the White House, this is a very sacred place to me, a very special place," he said, according to CBS News. "You have to treat the White House with respect, you have to treat the presidency with respect."