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RCFP concerned by White House’s ‘preliminary decision’ to suspend Brian Karem’s hard pass

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  1. Newsgathering
Karem received a letter Aug. 2 notifying him of the “preliminary decision” to suspend his hard pass for 30 days.

Journalist Brian Karem, who serves as the White House correspondent for Playboy, received a letter from White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on Aug. 2 informing him of a “preliminary decision” to suspend his hard pass for 30 days.

Reporters Committee Legal Director Katie Townsend made the following statement:

“The Reporters Committee is concerned by the White House’s ‘preliminary decision’ to suspend journalist Brian Karem’s hard pass for 30 days. The law is clear that the White House cannot suspend or revoke a journalist’s hard pass without due process, or as a pretext to punish or silence certain reporters or news outlets for their coverage.

“Journalists have a constitutionally protected right to ask questions and seek answers from White House officials on behalf of the public. The Reporters Committee is committed to ensuring that journalists, including members of the White House press corps, continue to have the access they need to be able to do their jobs effectively.”

In November 2018, the Reporters Committee and Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection filed a friend-of the-court brief in support of a lawsuit brought by CNN and the network’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, after the White House revoked Acosta’s hard pass. On Nov. 16, a federal judge ordered the White House to reinstate Acosta’s credentials.

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