The Justice Department under President Donald Trump obtained a gag order that kept top CNN executives from disclosing the government’s pursuit of reporter Barbara Starr email and other records as part of an apparent leak investigation.
According to CNN, the effort started in July of last year and was only revealed until Wednesday, when a federal judge unsealed parts of the case. CNN’s general counsel David Vigilante went on air to explain that he was unable to reveal details of the case even to Starr herself. She and reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times were informed last month that the government had seized their records without their knowledge.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was considering a First Amendment lawsuit from journalist Brian Karem, a White House correspondent for Playboy magazine and CNN contributor. Karem sued the president and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham after his credential was pulled for 30 days following a verbal confrontation in the Rose Garden last summer.
Karem’s lawyer Theodore Boutrous Jr. told the court Monday that “ensuring that the press can vigorously cover this president and the White House is more important than ever” as the nation now confronts the deadly coronavirus.
Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign have threatened in a letter to sue CNN for what they said was the network falsely advertising itself as a news organization, calling on executives to first discuss an “appropriate resolution” to the matter that would include a “substantial” payment to cover damages.
A federal judge on Tuesday reversed the White House’s decision to suspend a reporter’s press credentials, granting a motion that will restore him to his beat. The ruling was a victory for Brian Karem, a White House correspondent for Playboy magazine and a CNN political analyst, who had been suspended by officials for 30 days in mid-August because of his role in a verbal confrontation with a former White House aide at a White House event on July 11.
Trump proposed a draft order that puts the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission in charge of overseeing claims of partisan censorship on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.