WH Reporter Slaps Karine Jean-Pierre, Secret Service With Lawsuit After Press Pass Is Revoked

A reporter has slapped White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the Secret Service with a lawsuit after his press pass was revoked.

Simon Ateba, the White House Correspondent for Today News Africa argues in his lawsuit filed Thursday that the new press policy allowing for the revocation of a reporter’s press pass violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Ateba says in the lawsuit, the press does not pertain to a “small class of elite journalists, credentialed by one another.”

“Defendants violated Mr. Ateba’s First Amendment rights by changing the criteria for hard pass credentials to intentionally prevent Mr. Ateba from obtaining hard pass access,” the lawsuit says.

“Just like other White House correspondents, Mr. Ateba regularly interacts with, and requests information from, the White House Press Office for his coverage,” the lawsuit reads, alleging that within the five years of “joining the White House press corps,” he has allegedly “been treated with contempt by the current Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, and her staff.”

The press passes allow journalists to have access to certain White House press events, like press conferences.

In May, the White House announced a new press policy that would allow journalists’ press passes to be revoked and also informed journalists they would need to re-apply for a new press pass by July 31, according to the New York Post.

Ateba’s lawsuit comes after more than 440 reporters saw their press passes revoked at the beginning of August.

“My job is to ask questions, to ask tough questions,” Ateba said during an interview on Newsmax on Friday. “The public has a right to know and the journalist has a right, a duty to tell.”

Jean-Pierre had allegedly “not called” on Ateba at a press conference for the “past ten months,” he said during his interview.

Ateba cited several instances in which he feels discriminated against, especially at times in which President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris have traveled to Africa or when leaders from Africa were hosted in Washington, D.C. for a summit.

The White House issued a warning in July that Ateba may have his press pass revoked over alleged frequent interruptions during press briefings, according to The Hill.

Original Article: https://ijr.com/simon-ateba-slaps-karine-jean-pierre-lawsuit/